The United States (U.S) government has reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
This was revealed in a Thursday statement by the U.S Embassy in Uganda, as the U.S marked World AIDS Day in Uganda, while at the same time remembered 39 million people who have died of AIDS worldwide since the start of the pandemic.
The U.S ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown noted that the U.S, through President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), tremendous progress has been made in the fight against AIDS endemic.
The ambassador highlighted that the progress includes the 25 million lives that have been saved around the world, adding that the Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat globally.
She also noted that over 1.3 million Ugandans living with HIV currently receive PEPFAR-supported anti-retroviral treatment.
Data by the U.S Embassy shows that, with collaborations with Ugandan partners, over 1,361,000 people in Uganda are currently enrolled on treatment as of September 2022, and over 1,162,000 people had viral load suppression.
According to Brown, these latest program results show remarkable impact and resilience despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and Ebola.
“Notwithstanding this progress, we must redouble our efforts, especially for young women in Uganda aged 15-24 whose infection rate is three times that of their male counterparts,” Brown added.
The ambassador added that the U.S is also increasingly engaging the government of Uganda on ways the government can assume greater ownership of the response to ensure enduring sustainability.
U.S Global AIDS cordinator and special representative for Health Diplomacy ambassador at large, Dr. John Nkengasong noted that inequities remain one of the biggest barriers to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
She said that the fight against HIV/AIDS should be put on the virus not the people.
“We are living in a world where we are interconnected and World AIDS Day reminds us that the responsibility to bring this pandemic to an end is a shared responsibility. As we celebrate how far we have come, we must continue our collective effort to close the gaps that remain and threaten the most vulnerable among us,” Nkengasong said.
PEPFAR supports Uganda and other partner countries and communities to ensure that people of all ages, genders, and population groups have equitable access to life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.