Committee on HIV and AIDS meets Uganda AIDS Commission
On the 18th of February 2020, the Executive Director of Uganda AIDS Commission and the team appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on HIV and AIDS chaired by Hon. Florence Nambozo Mayoga to report about the performance of the institution.
The Director said that Uganda is among 3 countries, globally, that achieved a reduction in HIV infections by 40% as of 2019. According to the Commission, 23000 people die annually due to HIV and AIDS related illnesses. This is equivalent to a 69-seater bus passengers dying in a fatal accident every day. Uganda is still among top 10 African countries with high HIV burden, 1.4 million people are living with HIV of whom 1.2 million are on ARVs; 50,000 people are getting new inventions annually (1,000 per week, 140/ day and 6 people/ hour.
Members of the Committee on HIV and AIDS said that circumcision has become a catalyst to HIV infections in Uganda because some men become more sexually active after circumcision. They recommend that Health Camps be established during circumcision activities & practices.
The Director also informed the Committee that Uganda will host the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) 2021 with budget requirements of 5 billion shillings for FY 2020/21 and 2.2 billion for FY 2021/22. The benefits of ICASA include sharing scientific knowledge and innovations in HIV, showcasing Uganda’s multi-sectoral model for HIV response, direct income to the economy through expenditure by delegates estimated at USD 10 million.
It was also brought to the attention of the Committee Members that donor funding for the Commission declined from $ 601 in 2017/18 to $ 555.9 in 2019/2020 while government funding increased from $ 61.8 in 2017/18 in 2019/2020. This necessitates Government to establish sustainable ways of funding the Commission since donor funding continues to decline.