Uganda needs 800 million condoms to tame HIV spread

Thursday August 22 2019

The UAC report indicates that in 2010, 56,000

The UAC report indicates that in 2010, 56,000 Ugandans died from HIV/Aids related illnesses and the current 23,000 deaths means that Uganda has managed to reduce deaths by 59 per cent. FILE PHOTO 

By PAUL TAJUBA

Dr Nelson Musooba, the director general of Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), has said the country needs 800 million condoms a year if they are to meet the current demand and also be able to combat HIV/Aids infections.

“We import 200m condoms every year but that is a quarter of what is required,” Dr Musooba said.
He also said some mothers who test HIV-positive tend not to take their babies for screening which makes monitoring of such people difficult.

The UAC director general made the remarks during the release of data on HIV/Aids in Kampala yesterday.
The data indicates that Uganda is registering 1,000 new HIV/Aids infections and 500 deaths from the viral disease per week.

The 1000 new infections and 500 deaths translate into 53,000 new infections and 23,000 deaths annually.
Sadly, majority of the new infections are among youth of 15 to 24 years, a trend health providers and policy makers say is unacceptable owing to available information and treatment for HIV/Aids.

“HIV remains the most pressing challenge the country faces. It is not yet time to celebrate although we have made progress,” Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the State minister for Housing, who represented Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at the dissemination of findings in Kampala, said.

“In 1980s, treatment was not available, stigma was high and we did not have much information about HIV/Aids but we managed to reduce prevalence from 18.5 per cent [national prevalence] and up to 30 per cent prevalence in expectant mothers… but we can now say HIV fight has stagnated,” he added.

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The UAC report indicates that in 2010, 56,000 Ugandans died from HIV/Aids related illnesses and the current 23,000 deaths means that Uganda has managed to reduce deaths by 59 per cent.
The report also shows that government has enrolled more people on HIV/Aids treatment with 275,700 in 2010 and 1,167,107 as of 2018.

Findings
Prevalence. HIV/Aids prevalence stands at 8 per cent with Kampala and South western Uganda having the highest HIV/Aids rates at 7.9 per cent.
Lango and Acholi sub-regions have 7.2 per cent prevalence, Bunyoro, Tooro and Rwenzori at 5.7 per cent, Busoga and Bukedi at 4.7, while Bugisu and Sebei has a prevalence of 5.1 per cent.
West Nile and Karamoja has the least prevalence at 3.1 and 3.7 per cent respectively.

ptajuba@ug.nationmedia.com

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