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Uganda Hails HIV Success

August 6, 2002

Public education has been Uganda's secret weapon against AIDS, according to President Yoweri Museveni. Official figures published last month show 5 percent of the Ugandan population has HIV, down from 8 percent in 1999, making it the first African country to have reversed the disease's spread. Since coming to power in 1986, the president used political rallies and public broadcasts to educate people about AIDS. "When I had a chance, I would shout at them. [I used to say] 'You are going to die if you don't stop this. You are going to die,'" he said. Dr. Frances Omaswa, director of health services for the nation's Ministry of Health, said, "We had strong messages on radio, before every news item in every major language." Prevention is still the best policy in the nation, say officials, where the cost of furnishing even discounted drug treatments to the 150,000 Ugandans with HIV would be three-and-a-half times the country's entire health budget.

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Adapted from:
BBC News

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Uganda