UNAIDS Warns Uganda On Low HIV/AIDS Funding

2393 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The UNAIDS Country Coordinator Musa Bungudu has said Uganda should not continue waiting for foreign support to fund the HIV/AIDS activities in the country. Currently only 27,000 Ugandans get treatment funded by the government out of the 577,000 HIV/AIDS infected persons.

The UNAIDS Country Coordinator Musa Bungudu has said Uganda should not continue waiting for foreign support to fund the HIV/AIDS activities in the country.
 
Currently only 27,000 Ugandans get treatment funded by the government out of the 577,000 HIV/AIDS infected persons. Out of these, about 527,000 get treatment funded by the American government.
 
The Global Fund on the other hand funds treatment for about 20,000 Ugandans. Globally 9.7 million people are on treatment.
 
Bungudu warns that this gap is so huge and Uganda should not wait for foreign support to outnumber the government and local support with such margins. It is estimated that by the end of 2014, 400,000 more people could be found to be HIV positive and this will increase the burden on access to anti-retrovirals.
 
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Development partners recommend that government should ensure whoever tests positive is put on treatment and establish a special trust fund for HIV/AIDS.
 
Professor Vinand Nantulya, the Chairman of the Uganda Aids Commission, in response reveals that the Commission is already holding talks with government to establish the AIDS trust fund that will supplement the government allocation and donor funds.
 
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In 1980, the Uganda average life expectancy had reached 50.1 percent before to 43.2% in 1997 and back to 51.5 in 2012. The highest number of HIV related deaths around 1997 was about 120,000, a figure that has decreased to 63,000 in 2012 according to Dr David Kihumuro Apuuli the Director General Uganda AIDS commission.
 
The question remains why Uganda’s HIV infections are increasing. Dr Apuuli states that 89 percent of all new infections are found in married partners. Forty-three percent of infections occurred in marriage and cohabiting partners while 46 percent as a result of multiple sexual partners mainly by men. Ten percent of the infections are due to mother to child transmission and the remaining one percent is through blood transfusion and sharp items among others.
 
He advises the prevention methods such as use of condoms, change of risky sexual behavior, testing and getting treatment to reduce the circulating virus in the community. However, Dr Apuuli notes that safe male circumcision that only provides 60 percent protection has been misunderstood by some people to be a permanent condom.
 
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Globally new HIV infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33percent reduction since 2001. New HIV infections among children have been reduced to 260,000 in 2012, representing a reduction of 52percent since 2001. AIDS related deaths have also dropped by 30 percent since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.
 
By the end of 2012 some 9.7 million people in low income and middle income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy an increase of nearly 20 percent in just one year.
 
The Global Theme for the World AIDS Day on December 1st is Zero New HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths. Meanwhile Uganda’s theme for this year is re-engaging communities for effective HIV prevention and the slogan is Accelerating community action towards zero new infections.