By John Agaba and Godiver Asege
UNAIDS country coordinator, Musa Bungudu, has lashed at Uganda saying it is not doing enough in the fight against HIV, presides that have left Uganda topping the charts with the highest percentage of new HIV infections in eastern Africa.
Bungudu, who has coordinated the joint UN programme on HIV/AIDS in Uganda for about 5 years, said: “we are not doing enough. We are doing a lot, but not enough.”
Statistics from UNAIDS show that Uganda is the third highest contributor of all new HIV infections in the world — third to South Africa and Nigeria.
A new report released by the UN agency on July 16 puts Uganda in third position among the top 15 countries that accounted for more the than 75% of the 2.1 million new HIV infections that occurred last year.
South Africa tops the global list accounting for 16% new infections in the world, followed by Nigeria (10%), and Uganda with 7%.
“But Nigeria has a much higher population compared to Uganda. We are about 35 million people. And of these, about 1.6million are living with the virus,” Bungudu said.
“We know how the virus moves — mainly through unprotected sex and mother to child transmissions. We know that treatment is prevention (if you treat everyone who is HIV infected you reduce their chances of infecting their partners).
Research has shown us who to target. Men who have sex with men. Commercial sex workers. The fisher folks. Truck drivers. Today, I really don’t think we have serious interventions targeting these groups,” Bungudu said.
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