US gives Uganda $400m to fight HIV/AIDS

May 01, 2018

An increase from last year’s $402m PEPFAR budget for Uganda, the funding will cover a range of HIV/AIDS-related programming for the period October 2018 to September 2019.


The US government has announced a $408m budget support to Uganda's HIV prevention and treatment effort.

 The funding will be disbursed under the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

 According to the embassy, the funding was announced on April 20, in Washington by the Global AIDs Co-ordinator, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, in the presence of the PEPFAR team from Uganda and other stakeholders.

An increase from last year's $402m PEPFAR budget for Uganda, the funding will cover a range of HIV/AIDS-related programming for the period October 2018 to September 2019.

"The assistance will continue to focus on building the country's capacity to achieve an AIDS-free generation," the statement released by Dorothy Nanyonga, an information assistant at the US embassy in Kampala said.

The development comes at time the Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo had announced a $918m shortfall (sh3.4trillion) in the government's drive to address HIV/AIDS in relation to care and treatment.

Mbayo, who was addressing newly-elected members of the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) together with top management at Lake Heights hotel in Entebbe on Wednesday, said the Government and development partners had secured $868m (10.6trillion), leaving a shortfall of $918m.  However, It is not clear whether the funding announced by the minister also includes latest funding support from the US.

Whereas HIV/AIDS care and treatment accounts for 55% of the funding, prevention interventions account for 23% while social support and system strengthening account for 4% and 18% respectively.

Uganda has an estimated 1.3 million people living with HIV, whereas an estimated 20,000 have died of AIDS-related illnesses as of 2017. The estimated prevalence among adults aged 15 to 49 stands at 6.5%.

Dr Nelson Musoba, the director general of UAC said more money is needed to tackle prevention interventions such as sensitising the youth who experience new infections at a very high rate.

"If we target the young people between 15 and 49 years, who according to studies are more prone to new infections, then we shall save a lot of money in the long run because less money will be spent on treatment," Musoba explained.

PEPFAR funding is supporting Uganda's efforts to end AIDS by 2030. The first step in this is achieving epidemic control via UNAID's "90-90-90" goals, which state that by the year 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their status, 90% diagnosed with HIV will be on antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

In Uganda, PEPFAR's overarching goal is to reach, test, and treat those living with HIV and those who are undiagnosed hence bringing Uganda to 95% coverage across the three areas.

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