Over one million adults and children in Uganda are living with HIV/Aids, a report released today has indicated.
According to the HIV Survey Report, HIV prevalence was higher among women at 7.5 per cent compared to 4.3 per cent among men. It was also higher among residents of urban areas (7.1 per cent) compared to 5.5 per cent in rural areas.
Further, the report indicates that HIV prevalence among young people of between 15 – 24 years was 2.1 per cent (0.8 per cent in men and 3.3 per cent among women) and among women, HIV prevalence is highest in the age groups of 35 to 39 years and 45 to 49 years, at 12.9 per cent and 12.8 per cent, respectively.
The report that is based on research conducted from August 2015 to March 2016 in all districts of Uganda, also indicated that 60% of the people living with HIV in Uganda have suppressed viral load which means that treatment programs are successful.
16,670 women and 12,354 men aged 15-64 years were interviewed and tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B, the report adds.
And speaking at the launch of the report, the US Ambassador to Uganda Ms Deborah Malac pledged more support to government to combat HIV/Aids prevalence in the country and Africa in general. She disclosed that since 2004 her government has donated US$3 billion to the government of Uganda to procure anti-retrovirals (ARVS) for the infected persons and also invested in championing preventative measures such as condoms.
“We need to make sure that the successes (in the fight) of Mother to Child transmission are not reversed. We must make sure that Ugandans do not perish because they did not have the information,” Ms. Malac said at the function at the Media Centre.
She advised public planners and officials from the ministry of health to use the findings to overcome the burden of HIV/Aids.
“We cannot rest on our achievements; the burden of HIV infection in the country is still unacceptably high even though Ugandan youth especially the girls carry the burden of HIV infections,” she said.
In her speech the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng lauded the US government for helping Uganda in fighting HIV/Aids pandemic.