18 May 2017

Uganda: Government in Fresh Plan to Reduce New HIV Infections

Kampala — Government has noted with concern the worrying and growing trend of new HIV infections levels in Uganda, particularly among young girls and women.

Ms Esther Mbayo, the minister for Presidency, said although government has continued to mainstream HIV epidemics in most ministerial programmes, new infections among teenage girls currently standing at 18,894 which translates to 363 new infections per week.

"In his new term in office therefore, His Excellency the president has sounded a commitment to re-invigorate more focused, aggressive and urgent momentum towards achieving control of the epidemic in Uganda," Ms Mbayo said at a press conference organized by the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) to mark candle Light Day marked every May 17.

The Candle Light Day is marked internationally, to remember the memory of those comrades who have succumbed to the Aids epidemic.

Although the country is reputed over the world as a pioneer and leader in the fight against HIV/Aids, Ms Mbayo said between 2001 and 2010, several of the gains were noted to be in reversal.

"Uganda lost its focus on behavior as the centerpiece our efforts to turn off the flow of new infections. People became complacent and reverted to the pre epidemic HIV-risky lifestyles," she added.

To close the gap on the new HIV infections, particularly among girls and young women and their male partners, the minister said President Museveni has committed to lead the efforts aimed at mass mobilization and sensitization.

Dr Nelson Musoba, the UAC acting direct general said that there are estimated two million who have lost their lives to the epidemic since the early 1980's.

This year, Kiryandongo district has been chosen to host the candle Light Day celebrations due to the high risks and vulnerability of HIV in the district due to among factors includes increased movements along the Northern corridor.

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