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Uganda AIDS Commission seeks UGX 16 Bn to counter new HIV infections

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Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda AIDS Commission has asked Parliament to allocate an additional 16 billion shillings to HIV prevention due to the rise in new HIV infections.

According to Eddy Mukooyo the chairperson Uganda Aids Commission, there are currently 53,000 new HIV infections estimated to translate into 300,000 new infections by 2025 if there are no efforts to foster positive behaviors.

Mukooyo was on Thursday speaking during a retreat organized by Uganda AIDS Commission for Members of Parliament from selected committees at Golf View Hotel Entebbe.

He says that the financial implication of the new infections worries the commission as the government will require an estimate of 246 billion shillings to sustain patients on anti-retroviral drugs.

According to Mukooyo, if Parliament allocates 16 billion shillings, the rate of new infections will reduce.

The Chairperson National Forum for People Living with HIV Network in Uganda, Dr Stephen Watiti, said that extra funding is also needed to run massive campaigns that will see all people living with HIV/AIDS access treatment and ensure adherence.

“Government should invest into the treatment of people with HIV, we have seen it work among pregnant women with HIV/AIDS, they are not transmitting it to children when they are taking their medicines well,” he said.

MPs were however concerned that Uganda has relaxed on awareness and sensitization program for HIV/AIDS and that the rise in new infections is an indicator of laxity.

Businge Mugenyi, the Masindi district woman MP noted that the laxity is breeding a complacent population towards prevention, saying that is dangerous for the country.

A section of MPs proposed that Parliament should consider a law on mandatory HIV testing, saying that countries practising mandatory testing such as Senegal have registered a tremendous decline in HIV/AIDS Prevalence.

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