Uganda Faces Alarming Surge in HIV/AIDS Infections Ahead of World AIDS Day

As the world prepares to observe World AIDS Day, Uganda is confronting a distressing surge in HIV/AIDS infections, with over 1,000 new cases reported each week, averaging a troubling 158 cases per day, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission.

The Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment conducted a comprehensive evaluation, revealing significant regional variations in HIV prevalence, ranging from 2.1 percent in the North East (Karamoja) region to 8.1 percent in the Central 1 region (Greater Masaka).

The country is witnessing an alarming trend with the consistent reporting of at least 1,000 new infections per week.

Dr. Cecilia Nattembo, Regional Medical Director at Uganda Cares, underlines the seriousness of the situation, stating, “The distribution of HIV prevalence across regions highlights the complexity of the challenge we face. Urgent and targeted interventions are needed to address the varying rates.”

Despite a 22% decline in new HIV infections since 2015, Uganda recorded 52,000 new infections as of December 2022, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, acknowledges the persistent high levels of new infections, stating, “While we’ve made progress, the current numbers still pose a risk to global commitments. Our focus remains on achieving the 95-95-95 targets.”

Dr. Aceng further highlights Uganda’s progress, stating, “As of today, we have achieved a 92-94-94 milestone on the 95-95-95 targets. This signifies significant strides in our efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

Reports indicate that South Buganda and Mid North are currently experiencing the highest burden of new HIV infections, with adolescent girls aged 15-24 being the most affected, accounting for nearly four out of every five new infections.

The 2020 Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment reveals that the current HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 and above is 5.8%, a slight decrease from 6.2% in 2016. Prevalence among women stands at 7.2%, while men report a prevalence of 4.3%.

In light of these alarming statistics, Uganda grapples with the urgent need for targeted interventions and increased awareness to curb the surge in HIV/AIDS cases. These findings emphasise the significance of sustained efforts on the eve of World AIDS Day, as the nation strives to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure the well-being of its citizens.


Source: Nile Post

Kenya Celebrates Impressive Strides in HIV/AIDS Fight, Acknowledges Partnership with PEPFAR

Kenya Celebrates Impressive Strides In Hivaids Fight, Acknowledges Partnership With Pepfar

President Ruto of Kenya expressed gratitude for the United States’ support through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), highlighting the remarkable progress made in the country’s battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Speaking at the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 20th Anniversary Celebration in Kenya, President Ruto emphasised the transformative impact of the partnership between the two nations.

“We are highly grateful to the US government for this partnership that has changed the fortunes of our nation. Such a strong show of solidarity is highly appreciated, and we do not take the friendship and support for granted,” said President Ruto, acknowledging the rare nature of the collaboration.

President Ruto reflected on the devastating toll HIV/AIDS had taken on Kenyan households and communities just two decades ago, leaving behind a trail of death, illness, orphaned children, and socioeconomic devastation. However, he praised the significant strides made since then, attributing them to the support received from PEPFAR.

Over the past two years, President Ruto’s administration has increased financial investment in the HIV commodity pipeline by Sh 1 billion to prevent disruptions in the supply of essential resources. Furthermore, the government is committed to ending AIDS in children by 2027, in alignment with the goals set by the Global Alliance.

“The time is now to take a strong stand and make up for lost ground for the sake of Kenya’s children,” emphasised President Ruto, highlighting the universal healthcare coverage pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda as a crucial opportunity to address the domestic financing gap related to HIV/AIDS effectively.

President Ruto expressed his gratitude to PEPFAR, which has channelled over US dollars 6.5 billion into Kenya’s fight against the disease since 2004. The impact of this support has resulted in a 68.5 percent reduction in new HIV infections and a 53 percent reduction in HIV-related mortality. The quality of life for individuals living with HIV has also significantly improved.

Currently, 1.4 million people in Kenya are living with HIV, with 1.3 million receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) through more than 3,000 health facilities nationwide. Among the recipients are over 48,000 children and 55,000 breastfeeding mothers.

US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, emphasised the importance of partnership between the government and the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She called for continued collaboration with the private sector to raise awareness about the disease and contain its spread.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha expressed satisfaction with the progress made in Kenya’s efforts against HIV/AIDS, highlighting that 95 percent of those afflicted with the disease are receiving treatment. Kenya is determined to end HIV/AIDS in children by 2027, aiming to achieve this milestone ahead of the global target of 2030.

Joyce Ouma, a representative from the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, extended gratitude to the government and PEPFAR for their support in providing life-saving medications to individuals affected by the disease.

The celebration of Kenya’s achievements in combating HIV/AIDS serves as a testament to the power of international partnerships and collective efforts in overcoming significant health challenges. As the country continues its fight against the pandemic, the commitment to ending AIDS and ensuring the well-being of its citizens remains at the forefront of Kenya’s agenda.


Source: Capital FM Kenya