US to maintain support to HIV/Aids patients

Saturday May 17 2014


KAMPALA- HIV/Aids patients in the country will continue receiving support from people of the United States despite the Anti-Homosexuality Act signed early this year, Mr Dan Travis, the Public Affairs officer at the US mission in Uganda, said.

The US had threatened to review its diplomatic relations with the Kampala administration after President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law on February 24.
However, the US government has since maintained that there will not be any aid cuts to the health sector.

“The President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) funding has not changed. It will still be in the neighbourhood of $323 million (about Shs807b),” Mr Travis said ahead of the HIV Vaccine Awareness Day slated for May 18.

“About 60 per cent of total funding to Uganda will go to treatment and the 40 per cent will go to safe male circumcision,” he added, explaining how PEPFAR funds are used in the country.
Currently, the US government finances the life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) for more than 507,000 Ugandans and has also supported at least 1.1 million safe male circumcisions since 2009. In 2013, PEPFAR support provided antiretroviral drug prophylaxis for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) to more than 88,000 HIV-positive women, allowing infants to be born virus free.
“We want people to have healthy lives. The law (Anti-Gay) only complicates things for us as far as treatment is concerned. What we need now are the detailed implementing guidelines on showing how things are going to work on the grassroots,” Mr Travis noted.