Bush to Tout $15 Billion AIDS Program in Uganda
July 11, 2003
Hoping to use Ugandas journey out of the dark scourge of AIDS as a model for his $15 billion global initiative to fight the pandemic, President Bush will meet today with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and tour an AIDS clinic.Adapted from:
As the fourth stop on Bushs five-nation tour of the region of the world most affected by AIDS, the east central African nation of Uganda is lauded for controlling its once spiraling HIV infection rate. The country was decimated by HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s but managed to put the brakes on a rising HIV infection rate through a massive public education campaign, which helped drop the infection rate to about 5 percent. About 1 million Ugandans are infected with HIV, out of a total population of 24 million.
"We made it our highest priority to convince our people to return to their traditional values of chastity and faithfulness or, failing that, to use condoms," Museveni told drug company executives in Washington last month. "The alternative was decimation." As a result, condom use is widespread, the average age of first sexual contact has been raised, and the average number of sexual partners has been reduced.
Ugandas latest awareness campaign promotes the "A,B,C,D" of HIV - "abstain," change "behavior," use "condoms," or "die."
Though prevention efforts are affordable for Uganda, drugs to treat those infected with HIV are not. The country spends about $3.50 on health care per citizen annually, while HIV/AIDS medicines cost about $26 a month.
07.11.2003; Darlene Superville
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.