Uganda Embarks Upon Aggressive HIV/AIDS Prevention Plan includes Circumcision

To include the 2008 Circumcision Plan

The Ugandan government has launched a new HIV/AIDS prevention strategy and plan for the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by 2015.  The Program  Manager at the AIDS Control Programme (ACP) Zainab Akol said under the plan, measures are to be adopted to include a more cost-effective treatment regime, beefing up health infrastructure and increasing women’s access to family planning.

“The science is available, correct and feasible to stop further HIV in children, said Akol in an appeal to Ugandans, calling on the country “to rise up to the challenge and we stop all new HIV infections from occurring from now and onwards.”

Uganda has over 200,000 young people infected with HIV  through child-birth. Some 90,000 HIV pregnant women and 25,000 infected babies annually. The country has about 1.2 million people living with HIV/ AIDS.

Uganda started offering Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in 2000, with the initial program calling for a single dose of the anti-retroviral (ARV), Nevirapine, during delivery. The program was revised in 2006 to introduce combination of ARV regimens, but the delivery of those drugs has not been consistent, something the new plan aims to change.

The country has one of the highest fertility and pregnancy rates in the world which yields 1.5 million pregnancies. It has 6. 5 percent HIV prevalence in pregnancy. It also has a high death in childbirth rate amongst mothers.

Akol appealed communities to take children with HIV especially orphans for  free HIV treatment at government health centers.

The government has also embarked on a nationwide male circumcision program as part of its HIV/AIDS prevention strategy.  The project that targets 15 to 59 years old is aimed at promoting good health through prevention of the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. The nationwide circumcision project is being implemented by the country’s Aids Information Center.

The government began drafting the circumcision policy in 2008 and there has been criticism in the delay of the official launching of the program
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