AIDS Survey Preliminary Data Show Stagnation In Uganda’s HIV Prevalence, Need For Improved Prevention Strategies, Experts Say

A preliminary report on the Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health, shows the country’s “HIV prevalence rate [has] stagnated over the last 10 years, [and] the number of people infected with HIV has risen from 1.8 million people to 2.3 million today,” the Observer writes. “Health experts at the launch of the preliminary report said this is not only worrying for a poor country like Uganda, but also shows that the billions of dollars sunk into prevention are not reaping any results, as people continue to get infected,” the newspaper writes.

The survey, conducted in 2011, was aimed at collecting information on national HIV prevalence and syphilis infection rates; levels of knowledge on HIV/AIDS and related attitudes and sexual behaviors; HIV testing rates; the use of antiretroviral therapy and treatments for sexually transmitted infections; and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, according to the Observer. “The report says the goal of doing the survey was to provide policymakers involved in HIV/AIDS programs with strategic information to effectively plan, evaluate, design new strategies and implement HIV/AIDS interventions,” the newspaper states. Speaking at the report’s launch, several experts stressed the importance of treating HIV-positive people early, increasing male circumcision rates, and increasing the population’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS, the newspaper notes, adding that “[a] comprehensive report of the findings will be published in June” (Mwesigye, 3/18).