One Love vs. side dishes

Sylvia Tamale, a feminist sociologist and legal scholar who teaches at Uganda’s Makerere University, is quoted in a recent PlusNews article as saying that the “risky sexual practices” framework, as uncritically accepted in HIV policy circles in Uganda, is “racist, moralistic and paternalistic.” Instead of fighting people’s culture, she suggests that raising people’s awareness about safe sex is more likely to be effective in reducing sexually transmitted diseases.

Having concurrent sexual partnerships, she feels, is deeply ingrained in Ugandan culture. Furthermore, concurrent sexual partnerships have not been definitively proven as a factor underlying high rates of HIV/AIDS.

Yet, since the 1980s in Uganda, HIV prevention campaigns have pushed for fidelity to one sexual partner. The recent “One Love” campaign urges people to abandon “side dishes.” But they also promote condom use for those who don’t.

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