Health

New Report: Uganda Registers ‘Significant Progress’ in HIV Fight

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng (R) and officials from the Ministry of Health and the US Embassy at the Uganda Media Center during the UPHI launch
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng (R) and officials from the Ministry of Health and the US Embassy at the Uganda Media Center during the UPHI launch

Preliminary results of the 2016 Uganda Population HIV Impact Assessment (UPHI) have indicated significant progress in the fight against HIV in Uganda.

The results unveiled in Kampala today showed among others that the HIV prevalence among children has declined and the number of people living with HIV is stable.

57.4 percent of the people living with HIV, the report says, are on antiretroviral treatment and virally suppressed.

Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng flanked by the US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac presented the report to reporters at Uganda Media Center.

According to the findings, the current prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15-49 years is 6 percent. Among children under age 5 the prevalence is 0.5 percent while among those aged 5-14 years it is at 0.5 percent. The total number of people living with HIV is 1.3 million.

“These results also show that almost 60 percent of Ugandan adults with HIV have a minimal level of the virus in their blood which is a marker of treatment success. This 60 percent will live longer, healthier lives and they are less likely to infect others,” said the minister.

Dr Aceng said however, that a lot still needs to be done, noting that the HIV prevalence is still unacceptably high.

“Women still remain majorly affected with the prevalence rates at 7.5 percent compared to that of men at 4.3 percent,” she said.

The report shows that the magnitude of HIV varied considerable among the ten geographic regions in the survey from a low of 2.8 percent in West-Nile, 3.4 percent in North East region, 4.4 percent in East Central, 4.8% in Mid-East region, 5.5 percent in Mid-West region, 6.6 percent in Kampala, 7.4 in Central II, 7.6 in Central I  and 7.7 in South Western region.

The survey was conducted in all parts of the country from August 2016 to March 2017 from 12,483 households and achieved very high participation rates of over 95 percent from both interviews and blood draws.

A total of 16,670 women and 12,354 men aged 15-64 years were interviewed and tested for HIV. In addition 10,345 children aged 0-14 years were tested including 6,527 aged 0-4 years and 3,818 aged 5-14 years.

“The  2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey estimated national HIV prevalence among adults at 7.3 percent compared to 6.0percent in 2016/2017 UPHIA”.

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