The Sironko Woman MP, the current chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS and other related diseases, Florence Nambozo Mayoga, has said that Parliament is committed to advocating for increased domestic funding to fight HIV/AIDS, especially at the time when there is dwindling external resources for HIV/AIDS.
She said that diversification and innovation will be cherished and promoted in the fight against the epidemic
“Parliament will focus on reforms of punitive laws that perpetuate HIV related stigma and discrimination because punitive measures can be counterproductive,” she said
Nambozo made these remarks during the Philly Bongoley Lutaaya memorial lecture held at imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Friday last week.
The memorial lecture was held a head of the World’s Aids day under the theme: Sustainability for Uganda’s HIV/AIDs Response post 2020.
She decried the high rate of HIV prevalence among the young people in the country, warning the youngsters against involving themselves in reckless sexual activities.
The legislator cautioned the youths to be serious with their lives and avoid a lifestyle which exposes them to the risk of getting infected, noting that majority of Ugandans especially men don’t mind of knowing their health status and they continue “infecting” others.
According Nambozo, HIV is preventable and can be avoided but some people still take it for granted, thinking that it is a joke and continue involving themselves in unprotected sex and end up getting infected.
She urged men to embrace the Presidential Fast Track Initiative and participate in programs related to fighting HIV, expressing optism that the goal of eliminating HIV in Uganda by 2030 is possible. The initiative was launched in 2017 by President Museveni.
The initiative spells out plans to tackle HIV/AIDS in Uganda through a five point plan to; Engage men in HIV prevention and close the tap on new infections particularly among adolescent girls and young women; Accelerate implementation of Test and Treat and attainment of 90-90-90 targets particularly among men and young people; Consolidate progress on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV; Ensure financial sustainability for the HIV response; and Ensuring institutional effectiveness for a well-coordinated multi-sectoral response.
In December 2013, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDs (UNAIDS) launched a 90-90-90.
It aimed at diagnosing 90 percent of all people living with HIV, providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90 percent of those diagnosed, and achieving viral suppression for 90 percent of those treated by 2020.
By 2018, 84 percent of people living with HIV knew their status, 72 percent of those living with HIV were on treatment and 64 percent of people living with HIV were virally suppressed.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank to lead and inspire the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030.
According to the 2019 UNAIDS statistics, Uganda has 1.4 million people living with HIV. HIV prevalence among people between 15-49 years is five percent. By the end of 2018, 23,000 AIDS-related deaths and 53000 new cases were recorded.