Uganda, over the weekend, won the bid to host the 21st International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in 2021.

Neighbouring Rwanda was the host for the just concluded 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa that took place last week under the theme ‘AIDS free Africa—innovation, community and political leadership.’

The conference brings together leaders, experts, academics and civil society activists from Africa and other continents and is a great opportunity for the LGBT+ community to engage directly with key players in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Ugandan delegation to the just concluded conference included several members of the sexual and gender minorities community that participated in several discussions and panel sessions on how best to eradicate the pandemic on the African continent.

This development was welcomed and celebrated by several activists, organisations and leaders across the country.

“Great news- Uganda will host #ICASA2021 so Uganda should repel law that makes gay men criminals so that LGBT people in #Africa can attend conference. #LGBT are most vulnerable and such laws drive them from life-saving #HIV services,” Winnie Byanyima, the newly appointed UNAIDS Chief shared through her official twitter account.

Parliament signed off on the country’s bid to host the prestigious conference in September 2019.  Kiwanuka Ssubi, the head of public affairs and international relations at Uganda Media Centre, at the time revealed that cabinet had noted the update on Uganda’s bid to host the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in 2021 and that Uganda had been voted by the Society for AIDS in Africa members together with Kenya to be on the final shortlist of Countries from which one country would be selected to the conference.