Paul Semugoma, M.D.
The Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award
co-presented by amfAR, the International AIDS Society, and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation
Dr. Paul Semugoma, a physician and researcher from Uganda, is a steadfast advocate for the rights of LGBT and people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. He has led the charge to address gaps in HIV prevention, care, and treatment among gay/bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa, where outreach and diagnosis favor heterosexual populations and Western religious interference has further exacerbated anti-gay stigma. He has also fought against the criminalization of the LGBTQ+ community (and other vulnerable populations) in Uganda, arguing before Parliament about the possibility that the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill could have a devastating impact on public health, especially among gay/bi/MSM. The bill was eventually signed into law in 2014.
At the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., he publicly disclosed that he was gay during a speech. Shortly thereafter he left Uganda with his partner and family and settled in South Africa.