By Christopher Bendana
HIV prevention is everyone’s business, UNAIDS boss.
UNAIDS Country Director Dr. Karusa Kiragu wants Uganda to amplify the HIV prevention call.
She made the call during a media engagement at World Health Organization offices in Kampala today. Journalists from multiple media houses were given an update on the incoming report HIV and AIDS response in Uganda 2019 due for release on World Aids Day in December.
The incoming report studied HIV prevalence, new infections, testing, and death from 2010-2018.
“Emphasise HIV prevention. Try and remind everyone that HIV is still here,” she urged the media to amplify her call.
The journalists where given a fact sheet which included prevalence figures for the different regions of the country calls for self- reflections. Some regions having high prevalence while others have low.
Central 1 that includes the districts of Mukono and Luweero leads in prevalence at 8%, South –West that includes the Ankole and Kigezi sub-region is second at 7.9%, Kampala is at 6.9%. Those with low rates include West Nile that includes Arua district at 3.1%, and North- East that includes Karamoja at 3.75%. There is also the East -Central region that includes Busoga region at 4.7%.
Jotham Mubangizi, the strategic information advisor, UNAIDS said the different prevalence rates were due to several factors including male- circumcision for religion or health giving West-Nile a low rate. Low tolerance for promiscuity also led to low prevalence in the Karamoja region, until recently, the region contact with the outside world was limited.
For Central 1 and South-West, affluence, hence disposable income was cited as the main driver for higher rates.
The prevalence rate reduced from 7.3% in 2011 to 6.2% in 2017. The number of Aids related deaths reduced from 56,000 in 2010 to 23,000 in 2018.
There are 36.7 million people living with Aids globally.