World AIDS Day celebrations to focus on reducing new infections
Uganda joins the rest of the world today, Friday, December 1st, to celebrating the World AIDS Day.
This year’s celebration is under the theme: “Reaching to Men, Girls and Young Women to Reduce New HIV Infection”. It will be held in Acholi and Lango region of Northern Uganda.
Speaking to the media about the event, the Minister for the Presidency, Esther Mbayo said that unlike the previous years, this year they have put more focus on the men to ensure their engagement in HIV/AIDS prevention activities and close the tap on new infections, particularly among young adolescent girls and young women.
This year’s World AIDS day had been underlined by the presidential fast tracking initiative to ending HIV/AIDS as a public threat in the country by 2030. President Yoweri Museveni announced this in June this year at Imperial Royal Hotel.
According to the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC), the major causes of rapid HIV/AIDS transmission are behavioral activities like misuse of drugs, inconsistent condom use, transition and commercial sex; and economic factors like: poverty, gender, stigma, among others.
The 2016 statistics indicate that the infection rate of HIV/AIDS among men was higher than women by 40%, and because of this, HIV/AIDS has seemed to increase its spread especially among young girls who are easily wooed by the rich infected men.
“We are calling upon men to engage in all HIV/AIDS activities; like testing and taking pills, in order to reach the 2030 goal,” Mbayo said.
Since the 1980s, Uganda has made progress in the fight against HIV. The country has registered significant reductions in new infections from 135,000 in 2010 to approximately 60,000 by 2016, in men and women.
Further to this, new infections among children dropped from 26,000 in 2010 to 4000 in 2016. Of the 1.4 million people living with HIV, 1,041,000 people are enrolled in care and 980,954 on antiretroviral therapy.