Sunday, January 13, 2008

The State of HIV and AIDS in Uganda

When I get out to Uganda next month, I'll be working in the field of Public Health as an HIV/AIDS educator.  This week I've been doing a little research on the climate of the epidemic.

According to the excellent website HIV and AIDS in Uganda the country has been a success story when it comes to fighting the epidemic. The population of HIV positive adults dropped from 14% to just 5% in 2001.

The victory is generally accredited to the Ugandan government. Their awareness campaigns have treated AIDS not just a health issue, but a social one. It should also be noted that the U.S. government and the World Bank have donated hefty funds to the cause.

However, there is controversy. The HIV infection rate in Uganda is on the rise.  In 2007 , 6.7% of all adult Ugandans were infected with the virus.  Human Rights Watch has reported that this is due to an all Pro-Abstinence campaign.  Other groups have argued that that condom distribution is a Western way of dealing with the problem, not an African one. Frontline World's Daniele Anastasion has documented the current situation.

I also recommend watching the slightly longer rough cut of this segment. This version offers a far more objective take on the story.