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.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.