Today, on World Aids Day, the world unites to reflect on the scourge of Aids and HIV, to acknowledge those they affect and to promote awareness of the facts surrounding them.

But as we remember those who have lost their lives, and celebrate those who courageously live with HIV and Aids, our attention can’t help but turn to the hatred and prejudice against those groups most affected. The theme of this year’s WAD is Universal Access and Human Rights. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the pertinent issues in a speech yesterday:

Obviously our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it but also to combat discrimination more broadly … [but we] have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide.

At this moment, the East African country of Uganda is on the verge of introducing legislation that will severely punish gays and lesbians – and their allies – making homosexuality an executable offense in some cases. Many organizations and a handful of world leaders have spoken out to condemn these vicious and indefensible proposals. So far, nations to have explicitly denounced Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill include Canada, Sweden and the UK.

Box Turtle Bulletin has been keeping a useful and very thorough log of the developments.

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