Uganda faces alarming surge in HIV/AIDS cases

Uganda faces alarming surge in HIV/AIDS cases
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As the world prepares to mark World AIDS Day, Uganda is grappling with a relentless surge in HIV/AIDS infections, with over 1,000 new cases reported weekly, averaging a troubling 158 cases per day, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission.

In a comprehensive assessment by the Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment, the magnitude of HIV prevalence varies significantly across regions, from 2.1 percent in the North East (Karamoja) region to 8.1 percent in Central 1 region (Greater Masaka).

The country is witnessing a concerning trend with the recording of at least 1,000 new infections every week.

Dr. Cecilia Nattembo, Regional Medical Director at Uganda Cares, emphasizes the gravity of the situation, stating,

"The distribution of HIV prevalence across regions highlights the complexity of the challenge we face. Urgent and targeted interventions are needed to address the varying rates."

Despite a 22% decline in new HIV infections since 2015, Uganda registered 52,000 new infections as of December 2022, as reported by the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, acknowledges the persistent high levels of new infections,

"While we've made progress, the current numbers still pose a risk to global commitments. Our focus remains on achieving the 95-95-95 targets."

Dr. Aceng further highlights Uganda's progress,

"As of today, we have achieved a 92-94-94 milestone on the 95-95-95 targets. This signifies significant strides in our efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS."

Reports indicate that South Buganda and Mid North currently bear the brunt of new HIV infections, with adolescent girls aged 15-24 being the most affected, constituting almost 4 in every 5 new infections.

The 2020 Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment reveals that the current HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 and above is 5.8%, a slight decrease from 6.2% in 2016. Infections among women stand at 7.2%, while men report a prevalence of 4.3%.

In light of these alarming statistics, the nation grapples with the urgent need for targeted interventions and increased awareness to curb the surge in HIV/AIDS cases, emphasizing the importance of sustained efforts on the eve of World AIDS Day.

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