By Kironde Bunya Ssewanyana
The high HIV incidence in Uganda has been attributed to a number of risky sexual behaviors including early sexual debut, multiple sexual relationships, limited and inconsistent condom use, transactional, cross-generational and sex work.
The revelation was made ahead of the national HIV & AIDS scientific meeting featuring the 14th annual joint AIDS review and Philly Lutaaya Memorial Lecture which will take place from November 16-18 2021.
The Philly Lutaaya day is held annually for the country to honour Philly Bongole Lutaaya a legendary who gave HIV a human face amidst denial and death.
The event promotes efforts to end stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
Due to the unprecedented consequences caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, the national HIV and AIDS meeting this year will be held scientifically under theme “HIV and Covid-19; reflecting on our vulnerabilities and our resilience”
The conference will be used as an opportunity for the country to reflect on the preparedness for the upcoming ICASA 2021 due in December 2021.
East and Southern Africa continue to be the region’s most affected by HIV in the world and is home to the largest number of people living with HIV.
According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, there is a need to think globally and act locally by considering the Global HIV/AIDS situation and take action in our own communities in our respective countries.
In 2014, the world, guided by UNAIDS, the commission embarked on a fast-track strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
According to Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment ( UPHIA) 2019, the national HIV/AIDS situation in Uganda’s prevalence stands at 5.6% with a higher prevalence of 6.9% among females than their male counterparts at 5.3%.
New infections have reduced from 94,000 in 2010 to 53,000 in 2019.
New HIV infections among children dropped from 9800 in 2015 to 5,700 in 2019. AIDS-related deaths reduced from 53,000 in 2010 to 21,000 in 2019.
The total number of people living with HIV has reduced from 1,460,000 in 2019 to 1,200,000 in 2020.