A new report, which was commissioned by the Danish and Irish governments and USAID, warns that the prevalence of HIV-infected people is once again on the rise in Uganda because the government has toned down preventative measures to instead focus on life-prolonging HIV/AIDS treatment.
The new evaluation report by the the Swedish company Indevelop showed that Uganda must increase focus on preventative initiatives, particularly among the vulnerable groups in the nations, in order to turn the negative trend around.
Rather than focus on medicine to treat the virus once it has already been contracted, Denmark is among the few countries that have continued to focus on preventing the infection of HIV and, according to the trade and development minister, Mogens Jensen (S), that’s precisely what part of the Danish aid package to Uganda will continue to be dedicated to.
“It’s good that Denmark has been part of maintaining focus on prevention, especially among the vulnerable,” Jensen said in a press release. “And that’s the impression I got from my recent visit to Uganda, where the civil society and the users and employees of health clinics underlined the positive co-operation with Denmark in this area.”
Once again rising
Jensen said that the recent restructuring of the Ugandan aid, a reaction to the anti-gay law passed by the government in Kampala, will further strengthen this HIV/AIDS work in Uganda.
“I am concerned that the Ugandan anti-gay law will force HIV and AIDS sufferers into hiding and make preventative measures more difficult to take,” Jensen said. “The evaluation gives us a good tool in the continuing dialogue with the government about how best to support Ugandans in the HIV battle.”
Between 1992 and 2004, preventative measures played a part in helping to reduce the number of HIV-infected Ugandans from 18.5 to 6.4 percent, but it has since risen again.
Denmark’s aid geared towards HIV/AIDS efforts in Uganda was 90 million kroner from 2007 to 2010, and 200 million kroner from 2010 to 2015. It constitutes about two percent of the total HIV/AIDS support in Uganda.