HIV/AIDS Reducing In Uganda – Study

The Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) has interpreted two recent differing reports on the status of HIV/Aids in Uganda, as correct given the current trends in HIV treatment and therapy.

AIDS Patient in a hospital
AIDS Patient in a hospital

A study done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, USA shows a decline in deaths in Uganda over a 20-year period.

The study reveals that HIV/Aids killed over 50,000 Ugandans in 1990, a figure that came down to 48,250 people in 2010.

The findings appear to differ from a UNAIDS report released in July 2013 indicating that Uganda continues to perform poorly in the fight against HIV/Aids.

But Prof. Vinand Nantulya, an HIV/Aids researcher and Chairman of the UAC, says the two reports are accurate for they predict that while some HIV patients are taking advantage of Ant-Retroviral Therapy, equally others are getting complacent.

Dr. Alex Ario, the National coordinator for care and treatment at Uganda AIDS Control Programme, on the other hand says at the beginning of the epidemic, Uganda did not have lifesaving drugs, contrary to the current situation, something that has contributed to the reduction of the number of deaths due to HIV/Aids.

Data from 2011 National HIV Indicator Survey shows deaths from HIV/AIDS shot up slightly between 2005, when the disease was responsible for 16.6% of Ugandan deaths to 2010, when the figure was 17.2%.

This, according to Dr.Patrick Ndase, a Regional Physician at the Microbicides Trials Network, shows that the HIV disease burden in Africa is still high. Although ARVs are adequate, 40% to 60% of the infected people are not on treatment. He argues that for every two people that test HIV positive, only one gets started on treatment due to inhibiting factors like environment and stigma.

Prof. Nantulya says new infections are still being registered among high risk groups, adding that Uganda is expected to record 160,000 new infections in 2013 compared to 145,000 in 2012.

The UNAIDS report, launched on July 30 in Johannesburg, South Africa, extolled that Uganda, once ahead in the fight against the HIV virus, was categorized among the countries with stalling or increasing incidences of HIV.

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