By Goodluck Musinguzi
Uganda is left with 9 years to fulfill its ambitious program “the Presidential fast track initiative on ending HIV&AIDS in Uganda by 2030”, it was launched by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni 5 years ago. This was the first initiative in Africa and the entire world anchored on a five-point plan.
Dr Nelson Musoba, Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission, heads an authority charged with managing the national response to HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
He addressed Editors at a breakfast meeting in Kampala organized by the Health Journalists Network in partnership with AVAC to talk about Uganda’s ability to end HIV by the year 2030.
The five-point plan focuses on; Engaging men in HIV prevention and closing the tap on new infections particularly among adolescent girls and young women; Accelerate implementation of Test and Treat and attainment of 90-90-90 targets particularly among men and young people; Consolidate progress on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV; Ensure financial sustainability for the HIV response, and Ensuring institutional effectiveness for a well-coordinated multi-sectoral response.
Dr Nelson Musoba said the program has achieved a lot in the last 5 years that has put Uganda among 8 countries in the world that have fully achieved 90-90-90 targets by the end of 2020. 91% of people of all ages are aware of their HIV status of which 90% are on HIV treatment and of which 82% have suppressed their viral load.
Musoba said Uganda has since upgraded to 95-95-95 where the first 95 has been achieved through targeted testing of people in clusters. We have reduced the HIV prevalence to 5.4% from 6.4% which had increased to 7.3% 2012 a worrying trend.
“By 2030 we should have reduced infections to zero and no death related to HIV/AIDS. It’s possible to achieve this if the media joins us in reminding people to return for treatment that eventually suppresses the viral load”, said Dr Nelson Musoba.
Dr Stephen Watiti, HIV Specialist the topic, What is on the ground? He said Uganda has 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS, of these 1.2 million people are on treatment.
“If 1.2 million swallow their medicine well they will not die due to HIV/AIDS, they won’t transmit. Good medicine is available, those taking it need a balanced diet. We will achieve zero death and transmission”, said Dr Watiti.
The world is talking about ending AIDS. AVAC’s advocacy is dedicated to realizing that vision. To get there we must:
- Deliver proven tools for immediate impacts.
- Demonstrate and roll out new HIV prevention tools.
- Develop long-term solutions to end the epidemic.