The Minister for Presidency, Hon Esther Mbayo has urged Ugandans to be more careful and guard themselves against sexual acts that would expose them to contracting HIV especially now as the festive season draws closer.
Addressing the media at Uganda Media Centre, the Minister made these remarks in preparation for the commemoration of the International World Aids Day which will be celebrated on December 1, 2020, themed ‘National Solidarity and Assured Responsibility Towards Ending Aids’.
“As we draw towards the festive season, there tends to be excitement in the community and people tend to engage in a lot of risky sexual behaviour. I take this opportunity to remind the country that we shouldn’t relax in our efforts and commitment towards preventing and ending HIV/AIDS. We need to guard against reversal of these gains made and ensure that we remain on course to end AIDs as a public health concern,” Minister Mbayo said.
She said that in order to achieve ending AIDS by 2030 vision, it’s critical for everyone to reflect on their individual and collective responsibility towards ending HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
“Uganda has made a lot of progress in responding to the burden of HIV/AIDS over the last 4 decades. The HIV prevalence rates in the general population have been reduced from about 18% in the 1990s down to the current 6%,” she said.
Uganda is ranked among the 14 countries globally to have achieved the UNAIDS 2nd and 3rd target such as the 90% of people living with HIV /AIDS being put on treatment, and the 90% of those on treatment being viral suppressed.
“This progress has positioned Uganda to achieve the ambitious goal of ending AIDS as a public by 2030,” the Minister noted.
Dr Nelson Musooba, the director general of Uganda Aids Commission said, “We lost approximately 21,000 people to AIDS in 2019 and we approximately had 53,000 new infections. We had estimated that by end of 2019, we would be at 18,000 new infections but we didn’t achieve that target.”
“I would like to thank the media fraternity for continuing to drive the campaign on HIV prevention as well as covid-19. I urge you to continue supporting us in running a media campaign throughout this season and beyond on the prevention of HIV and covid-19,” Mbayo said.