The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) mourns the tragic loss of David Kato. As noted in the powerful statements issued by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, David was at the forefront of the fight for human rights for all Ugandans, including members of Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Stigma and discrimination against any population at risk for HIV undermine the fight against the disease. Courageous leaders help societies move forward with an effective public health response by promoting respect for the human rights of all people. David was such a leader for Uganda, and losing him is a tragedy. PEPFAR will honor David’s life by continuing to provide essential HIV prevention, care and treatment to the people of Uganda — especially to vulnerable, marginalized, and most at-risk populations. Through intensive work with both the government and civil society organizations, PEPFAR is working to ensure that all people in Uganda, including the LGBT community, benefit from a public health- and human rights-based response to HIV.