18 December 2018

Uganda: 33 Youth 'Confess' to Engaging in Gay Sex in Luweero

Photo: ILO
The rainbow flag, commonly the gay pride flag and LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride.

At least 33 youths in Luweero district have confessed to engaging in homosexuality according to a study conducted by Luweero district and Makerere University school of public health.

The affected youth are found in one of the town councils in Luweero district that the researchers decided to conceal to protect the identities of the respondents. Homosexuality is punishable by law in Uganda.

The respondents were identified through the snowball sampling technique, a non-probability sampling technique where existing study subjects recruit future subjects from among their acquaintances. The survey was conducted in June this year.

Dr Innocent Nkonwa, the Luweero district health officer, says the survey was conducted to find out the number of men that have sex with men (MSN) in the town and design strategies to curb HIV/Aids infections. He says 33 men confessed having unprotected sex with several men, which exposed them to HIV infection.

Dr Nkonwa says the findings are an eye opener to health officials that homosexuality exists in the district, which calls for specific strategies to extend services to those involve.

"We wanted to know if this vice is existent in the district. We sampled only one town and 33 young boys came up and said they are homosexuals or men who have sex with men. And for us as health workers our major main is to see that we reach them such that there activity doesn't pre-expose them to HIV. Because some of them are in homosexual relationships and they may also go into heterosexual relationships. So if they get it there, they might bring it this side." Dr Nkonwa said.

Local leaders blame the upsurge of homosexuality to youth unemployment and moral decayance. Ishahak Mugema, the Luweero district youth councillor blames the vice on unemployment, which has exposed the youths to recruitment by gay promoters.

Mugema asked government to streamline access to youths fund and open up factories to employ youths so that they are not attracted to such acts. Ssozi Bakisula, the Wobulenzi town council LC V councillor, says there is moral decay among youths which have forced many into such acts.

However Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero LC V chairman said he is yet to believe that there are people engaged in homosexuality in the area. According to Section 145 of the Penal Code Act, a person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

Section 146 of the Penal Code act says that any person who attempts to engage in homosexuality also commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

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