UNAIDS Says HIV Rates Among Uganda’s Adolescents ‘Worrying’

L - R Ms. Amakobe Sande, the UNAIDS Country Director for Uganda, Rosa Malango the UN Coordinator in Uganda, Lenanarth Hjelmaker, Sweden's Ambassador for Global Health and Susan Eckey the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda address a news conference at Protea Hotel on Thursday

The UN agency responsible for the fight against HIV/AIDS is calling for urgent actions by government and other stakeholders in HIV prevention following what they call a rebound in earlier commitments.

They especially raised concern over the cuts by government in its budget allocations to the health sector as well as the HIV prevalence rates which are currently worrying among adolescents.

“Young girls between the age of 15 and 24 are disproportionately affected by HIV infection, viagra 60mg ” said Rosa Malango, the UN Coordinator in Uganda quoting 2015 statistics.

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She further told the press on Thursday that the HIV prevalence among adolescent girls is higher (9.1%) compared to the national prevalence rate (7.3%).

The 2015 statistics further indicate that 2 adolescent girls get infected every hour while 2 new infections are registered on a daily basis.

“This high prevalence is driven by poverty, behavioral patterns and cultural practices including child marriages. These require collective leadership commitment and bridging the existing gaps in comprehensive knowledge of HIV among young people,” she said.

According to UNAIDS, 38% of boys have knowledge on the AIDS scourge while for girls, it stands at 36%. Malango said these figures are “nowhere near adequate”.

A Global Review Panel has been in Uganda to ascertain the state of the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as hold consultations with stakeholders on issues of; joint working, governance and financing.

Uganda was particularly chosen for the study given its efficient response towards the devastating impact that the HIV epidemic.

Malango said that the emerging influx of refugees globally has created stiff competition for resources making it difficult for UNAIDS and other players that have been significant in funding programs aimed at wiping out HIV.

“It is time that Uganda government invests in its HIV program on a high level. Regrettably, the AIDS Trust Fund which raised excitement locally and globally at its inception is now not operational,” Malango said.

“More than ever, we need governments to take on responsibility and find innovative ways of mobilizing resources internally. The recent calls to cut in the budgets to the health and education sectors which are key sectors in the reduction of HIV are cause for of concern,” she added.

“We are really concerned that these cuts at this critical time will not help to end the epidemic.”

In 2015, an estimated 83,000 new HIV infections were recorded in Uganda and 76 daily deaths are as a result of HIV related diseases. Uganda registers 230 new HIV infections on a daily basis

Ms. Amakobe Sande, the UNAIDS Country Director for Uganda revealed to the press that in addition of funding, cultural and behavioral challenges, the prevalence of HIV has also been aided by a fatigue in the response from the wider population in Uganda.

“We feel that there’s a fatigue in the HIV message. We are looking for ways to get people to pay attention to what is a crisis by producing estimated weekly, daily and hourly infections,” Amakobe said.

Lenanarth Hjelmaker, Sweden’s Ambassador for Global Health who led the consultations in Uganda said that local stakeholders provided important suggestions. This, he said would help reinforce the work of the unique Joint Program on AIDS.


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