OPINION: Eradication of poverty the golden bullet to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030

OPINION: Eradication of poverty the golden bullet to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030
Sex workers waiting for customers

By Robert Kigongo

The author Robert Kigongo

In mid-1980’s the world and Uganda in particular unprecedentedly faced an epidermic.The Novel Human immunodeficiency virus erupted suddenly on undesirable scale claiming lives,living orphans and stalling progress while it had no cure nor treatment.

Uganda has made tremendous progress in the reduction of HIV prevalence's,incidents and AIDS related conditions.

However, according to the recent report by Uganda AIDS Commission 2022, over 30,000 new HIV infections are among younger people especially girls between 15 to 25 years.

HIV has disproportionately affected younger females and women more than male counterparts but the ignored or underrated cause of this fraction is poverty.

UBOS in 2022 released a multi-dimensional poverty index report indicating that 18 million Ugandans are below the poverty line, experiencing extreme poverty conditions that include  lack basic of needs, poor housing, money to meet a standard quality life among others.

Many women and younger girls are now into transitional sex in the interest of earning something due to poverty.

Most have confessed to friends that sexual explicit, sexual transitions was never their intention and wish but poverty conditions pushed them to the limits.

Critical analysis of the Multi dimensional poverty index reports 2022 UBOS, Uganda Human Development report by UNDP ,the multi-dimensional vulnerability report shows that correlation between HIV/AIDS and poverty is much entwined more than never before.

Africa has the highest density of civil societies, where Uganda takes the lead in Health sector, Therefore HIV/AIDS Non government organisations genuinely interested in ending HIV/AIDS by 2030 should shift focus on a people centered programs that elevate home steads from stricken poverty conditions.

“The Nabagereka Development Foundation dreams project in Kasanda and Mubende”is a good example ,supporting HIV/AIDS negative younger girls to continue living as examples in communities but also supporting them in ending period poverty and elevating them from poverty conditions in the spirit of “leaving no one Behind.”

Other civil societies can copy and paste with a focus on younger girls and ghetto boys.

Constitutionally, governments have a social contract and a cardinal indictment to protect its citizens, minimise the spread and end HIV/AIDS therefore it should prioritise scaling up social uplifting programs that will alleviate people from poverty, offer nondiscriminatory quality people centred service delivery.

In Uganda the Parish development Model,Mwoga funds, small business recovery fund and agriculture credit facility of Bank of Uganda among others must be enforced and ensure that they change lives from poverty to minimum wealth that is able to support their well-being.

Uganda’s milestone towards the fight against HIV could have been achieved without multinational and bilateral partnerships from United States government ,development partners like UNAIDS, USAID, CDC, PEPFAR.

However its high-time now to redirect more resources, grants to social uplifting and poverty eradication programs.

Eradicating poverty among populations is the golden bullet to an ending HIV/AIDS that will achieve Uganda’s Vision 2040 , the Africa we want by 2063 and a sustainable future.



The writer is a sustainable development analyst

and an UPSHIFT peer to peer educator on HIV/AIDS.


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