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Press Release on HIV Situation in Uganda February 23 2017

Kampala, February 23, 2017, The HIV situation in Uganda calls for renewed and urgent action. This was highlighted at the end of a UNAIDS Global Review Mission to Uganda, which held multi stakeholder consultations in Uganda 21st to 23rd of February 2017.

Young people, especially girls aged between 15 and 24, are disproportionately affected by HIV infection. Among adolescent girls; every single hour, 2 young women are getting infected with HIV in Uganda. The prevalence of HIV among adolescent girls stands at 9.1 percent, compared to the national prevalence rate of 7.3 percent.

Uganda registers 230 HIV new infections a day. Despite widely available anti-retroviral therapy, 76 people die of AIDS-related causes every single day! This illustrates the urgent unfinished business of ending AIDS, made more worrisome by recent calls to reduce the health and education budgets, that are important sectors for the fight against HIV, which at this critical time, do not augur well for ending the epidemic.

These facts were presented by stakeholders from government, civil society, development partners and the United Nations to the UNAIDS Global Review Panel Mission to Uganda led by Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmåker, Sweden’s Ambassador for Global Health; and members Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone and Special Advisor to the Global Review Panel; Dr. Kent Buse, UNAIDS Chief, Strategic Policy Directions; and Ambassador Susan Eckey, Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda.

The Global Review Panel is tasked with making recommendations for a sustainable and fit-for-purpose UNAIDS; with a particular focus on three fundamental pillars of the Joint Programme: joint working, governance and financing and accountability.

The Country Consultations in Kampala were organised around a series of four roundtables with government representatives, civil society actors, development partners and the Joint UN Programme of Support on AIDS (JUPSA) respectively. These discussions aimed at eliciting the lessons learned from an efficient response in a country that was once devastated by AIDS, and the continued joined-up efforts to keep the epidemic under control.

“The work of the Global Review Panel cannot be carried out in Geneva alone; hence I am grateful that partners engaged in this inclusive consultation. Uganda has an important story to tell. Country perspectives needs to be better understood in order to refine and reinforce the work of the unique Joint Programme on AIDS,” said Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmaker, the mission leader.

“Uganda as a country is committed to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and we UAC welcome action taken to review and re-invigorate the joint UN family to support us and realise this goal at the country level,” said Professor Vinand Nantulya, Chairman Uganda AIDS Commission.

‘I would like to use the opportunity to call on His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni to once again take back his direct leadership in this area, so that Uganda can once again show the world that the end of AIDS as a public health threat is possible,” said Ms. Rosa Malango, UN Resident Coordinator.

UN Agencies in Uganda