By Anthony Bugembe
UGANDA requires an estimated $700m (about sh1.3 trillion) over the next one-and-a-half years to finance its HIV/AIDS priority activities, the Uganda AIDS Commission has said.
â€œWe estimate that about 25% of this will go towards prevention measures, while 53% will go towards treatment, care and improving systems to deliver drugs and services,â€ Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, the director of the commission, said.
Ugandaâ€™s target was to reduce HIV infections by 40% by 2011/2012, he said.
About 130,000 new HIV infections are registered every year, the biggest percentage being married couples and sex workers.
About 1.1million Ugandans are living with HIV/AIDS.
â€œOur current priorities are prevention of new infections, providing treatment and care for the infected and providing social support to the affected families,â€ Apuuli added.
He was presenting the National Priority Action Plan for HIV/AIDS response during the health sector joint review mission at Speke Resort Munyonyo, in Kampala yesterday.
The event, under the theme â€œAchieving health-related Millennium Development Goals through improving quality and availability of servicesâ€, was attended by health workers, policy makers and development partners.
â€œThe behaviour of people in Uganda has worsened over the last four years because of the presence of ARVs. We should strive to bring them back on course,â€ Apuuli said.
He called upon development partners and the Government to finance the move.
â€œPresently, about 90% of all the resources for HIV/AIDS in Uganda are provided by donors. But this year, the Government has set aside sh60b to buy ARVs and anti-malarial drugs. We hope that this trend will continue,â€ Apuuli told The New Vision.
According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, about 12.6 million Ugandans were willing to undergo voluntary counselling and testing between June 2007 and June 2008. However, only 1.4 million were able.