Uganda: Life Expectancy Falls
January 16, 2003
Uganda's life expectancy has dropped due to large numbers of infants born HIV-positive, as well as high death rates among those orphaned by AIDS, the latest Population Action International report has revealed. Uganda's life expectancy has dropped to 41.9 years compared to 52.3 years in Senegal, 69.6 years in Thailand and 67.2 in Brazil.Adapted from:
The report, "Condom Count: Meeting the Need in the Era of HIV/AIDS," says 5 percent of adults living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda are expected to die before age 42. The group compiled the report based on a survey conducted in 126 countries from 1996 through 2001. "In highly affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, average life expectancy is now 47 years, rather than 62 largely because of the pandemic's toll on young adults," says the report.
Condoms have played a key role in those countries that have been able to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence, according to the report. Further, PAI says, Uganda's political leadership and emphasis on interpersonal communication has yielded an increase in condom use.
Statistics show higher infection rates among girls ages 15-19 compared to boys of the same age. This, says the report, suggests a need to start HIV prevention education at earlier ages. Such programs should emphasize abstinence. Because students can be reached systematically, and changes in attitude and behavior at a younger age can last a lifetime, school-based programs are cost-effective, long-term interventions.
Condom use is the lowest among couples and youths, who often believe they are safe from or invulnerable to infection. This is mostly because they do not feel at risk of contracting HIV, particularly if they trust their regular partners. In Uganda, 1.9 percent of couples are using condoms for family planning, compared to .6 percent in Senegal's, 1.1 percent in Thailand and 4.4 percent in Brazil.
01.13.03; New Vision
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.