There are as many gay people in Uganda, as in other countries where homosexuality is not illegal, a new study has found.
The survey looked at 3,000 Ugandan students, who were asked a number of questions.
From the questions on sexual orientation, physical and mental health, the study found that one in three of the respondents had been in love with a person of the same gender
In addition, the study found that 6-8 percent of men, and 10-16 percent had been sexually active with someone of the same gender.
Anette Agardh, the Associate Professor in Global Health at Lund University, said: “We were not surprised by the results, as the numbers are consistent with the situation in most other countries in the world.
“The real figures could actually be even higher. Although the survey was anonymous, the intense propaganda against homosexuality in Uganda may have intimidated some from providing honest answers.”
The organisers of the study, which was published in PLOS ONE journal, suggested links between those living in Uganda with same-sex attractions, and mental health issues and higher instances of them being the victim of sexual violence or coercion.
Agardh said she hopes the study will lead to better healthcare provisions for LGBT people in Uganda.
She said: “In the absence of facts and knowledge about human sexuality, myths tend to proliferate, for example, that sex between two men not involve a risk for HIV, and that a homosexual woman can be ‘cured’ by so-called ‘corrective rape'”
Adamantly homophobic Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni remains in office for a fifth term, as he won a general election last month, amid accusations of corruption.
President Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February 2014. The law called for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and to make it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.
However, the country’s Constitutional Court later struck down the bill, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.
Despite this, it still remains illegal to be gay in Uganda.
Uganda later passed a controversial new law, that could result in the closure of NGOs helping the country’s LGBT population.
The country’s parliament passed the controversial Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) bill, in a late-night sitting.
Museveni has previously claimed that Uganda is a “better destination” for tourists than Spain, that “Uganda is so rich, we should be the ones to give aid”, and that oral sex is a Western invention that is “more terrible” than homosexuality.