Botswana is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The national HIV prevalence rate among adults ages 15 to 49 is 24,8 percent, which is the third highest in the world, behind Lesotho and Swaziland.
The national incidence rate is 1.5 per cent, or more than 15 000 new infections per year. HIV infection rates vary by geographical region: They are highest in cities, lower in towns, and lowest in villages.
HIV remains particularly prevalent in eastern regions such as Bobirwa and Selebi Phikwe, where the prevalence remains as high as 40 percent.
These alarming figures are nothing to celebrate. Botswana’s workforce is being depleted as many productive adults develop AIDS and are no longer able to work. According to the US State Department, between 1999 and 2005 Botswana lost approximately 17 percent of its health care workforce due to AIDS. By 2020, it has been projected that the loss in agricultural labour force due to AIDS could be more than 23 percent.
“Today, Botswana decriminalized homosexuality,” Kirk tweeted. “President Trump’s global push to decriminalize homosexuality is achieving results across the world,” he added. “Will CNN & MSNBC give his administration any credit for this monumental achievement?”
The Trump administration has been involved in an effort to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide since early this year.
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….” Trump said on Twitter.
The crusade to decriminalise homosexuality worldwide was started by the controversial Trump-appointed ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who has been hailed as the “highest ranking openly gay official ever in a Republican administration”.
Though Trump has enthusiastically signed onto the campaign, he appeared to know nothing about the campaign when he was asked about it shortly after it was announced. “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports,” Trump responded when questioned.
Q: Mr. President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you doing that? And why?
TRUMP: Say it?
Q: Your push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.
TRUMP: I don't know which report you're talking about. We have many reports.
Via Yahoo News pic.twitter.com/AQH4i66u9s
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 20, 2019
The ruling in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality in Botswana was decided by their High Court, which may have been swayed by the US administration’s crusade.
Botswana has been suffering from a massive AIDS epidemic for decades, with NPR reporting last month that their HIV rate is currently “at least 25 percent.”