|President Museveni and Omukama of Toro Oyo Rukidi IV attend the World AIDS Day 2014 at Booma Grounds in Fort Portal Kabarole|
Hon. Members of Parliament,
The Omukama of Toro
The Chairman, Uganda AIDS Commission,
Your Excellencies, The Ambassadors,
Representatives of Development Partners
Representatives of Local Governments
Representatives of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS
Representatives of Young People
Distinguished Delegates & all invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen.
In the last three years alone, there has been a reduction in the number of people found to have new HIV infections - from 162,000 in 2011 to 137,000 in 2013. Between July 2013 and June 2014, a total of 179,468 people were enrolled on antiretroviral treatment exceeding the number of new infections in the same duration.
At the end of June 2014, we had 680,514 people on treatment out of the 1,447,859 people who require treatment. This shows a marked improvement in coverage compared with the situation 10 years ago when only 40,000 Ugandans were enrolled on treatment. Because of this expanded coverage in treatment, AIDS related deaths have also significantly reduced.
Despite all the accomplishments, more work still needs to be done. The proportion of the population with HIV/AIDS at an average of 7.3% remains unacceptably high. The annual burden of 137,000 new HIV infections implies that every single day 380 of our people are getting infected with the virus. This situation is grossly unacceptable. I am informed that there is a disproportionate burden of the epidemic in certain populations such as fishing communities, long distance truckers, sex workers, and uniformed service men, and that they are not well covered with services because they are not easy to reach. Many of our people who are eligible for treatment are yet to be reached. We should therefore work harder to ensure that all our people are reached with HIV/AIDS services.
The Government of Uganda will work towards sustainability of the current HIV/AIDS investments. You are fully aware that the recently enacted HIV/AIDS act 2014 provides for setting up of the National HIV/AIDS Trust Fund. I am therefore calling on the concerned government organs to speed up the process of setting up and functionalizing this fund.
I THANK YOU ALL