By Kironde Bunya Ssewanyana
KAMPALA – CiplaQCIL has reiterated that it is committed to ensuring that there is a reduction in new HIV infections in the country.
In a statement issued to mark World Aids Day, the ARV manufacturing firm said their innovations have been important in helping Ugandans to stay safe at different levels of exposure, whether it’s protecting themselves, protecting their partner, or protecting their family.
“In addition to the traditional ABC (abstain, be faithful, and use a condom), interventions such as the pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP), also help to protect people at risk of contracting HIV from sex or injection drug use,” the firm said.
It said adherence to antiretrovirals is also critical for the partner living with HIV as undetectable (HIV viral loads) equals untransmittable (U=U).
“Cipla’s history of ensuring equitable access to life-saving medication is well-established, having made its revolutionary 3-in1 fixed-dose combination AIDS treatment available at less than $1 per day in 2001, in comparison to the prevailing $12 000 per patient per year, thereby saving millions of lives worldwide,” the firm said.
The fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda has been long. Decades ago, being HIV positive was perceived as a death sentence because of lack of access to affordable, quality life-saving treatment.
However, reduced stigma through widespread education and the evolving research in medical field which has led to improved treatment has rewritten the story of people living with HIV.
Uganda currently has a total of 1.4 people living with HIV of which 480,000 are men, 820,000 are females and 98,000 are children aged 0-14 according to the 2020 report from Uganda AIDS Commission. The same report states that there were 38,000 new infections in the year 2020.