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President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday blamed Uganda the Aids Commission for the rising prevalence of Aids in the country.

Within less than a decade, Uganda has gone from a ‘consultant’ on how to fight HIV/Aids, to being the only African country with rising infection rates. And Mr Museveni believes that some of the “new” approaches to Aids prevention, that UAC has embraced, have led to more people catching the disease.

Speaking at ceremonies to mark World Aids day at Kasensero landing site, in Rakai district, the president said methods like circumcision and condom use had caused more harm than good.

“I think the only way to prevent Aids is through abstinence and being faithful to each other for those who are married,” he said.

In the 1990s, Uganda gained world acclaim for promoting the ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful and Condom use) strategy to drastically cut infection rates.  However, a combination of factors, including complacency and incoherent messages, have seen the country lose the momentum.

The Uganda Aids Indicator Survey (UAIS) figures of 2011 show that the prevalence of HIV among adults has increased from 6.4% in 2005 to 7.3% in 2011. Ministry of Health figures also indicate that new infections increased by 11.5% from 115,775 in 2007/8 to 128,980 in 2010/11.

But according to Musa Bugundu, the country coordinator for UNAIDS, circumcision is not bad; the messages encouraging people to use it should be designed in such a way that people should use it concurrently with other methods. Speaking at Kasensero on behalf of Uganda’s development partners, Swedish Ambassador Urban Andersson challenged the government to increase funding of the national efforts to combat HIV/Aids.

He said Uganda was funding barely 11 per cent of the efforts, leaving the initiatives scattered and unsustainable. Andersson also encouraged the government to focus on investing in health workers. Uganda’s health sector is critically understaffed, with about 42% of positions vacant.

UAC also argues the health sector needs more resources, including human resources, to steer all the interventions put forward to combat scourges like Aids.

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Comments

 
0 #1 Ronald Goldman, PhD 2012-12-03 01:47
Many professionals have criticized the studies claiming that circumcision reduces HIV transmission. They have various flaws. The absolute rate of HIV transmission reduction is only 1.3%, not the claimed 60%.

Authorities that cite the studies have other agendas including political and financial. Research shows that circumcision causes physical, sexual, and psychological harm. This harm is ignored by circumcision advocates.

Other methods to prevent HIV transmission (e.g., condoms and sterilizing medical instruments) are much more effective, much cheaper, and much less invasive. Please see http://www.circumcision.org/hiv.htm for more information and links to literature.
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0 #2 Scholar 2012-12-03 02:25
My biggest concern is that many people, especially those that are uneducated have their facts wrong. They believe that if circumcised, they are automatically exempted from contracting Aids.

The circumcision campaign was very misleading and thus causing these rising numbers of new infections.
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0 #3 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 04:26
The rise in HIV/AIDS is caused primarily by sexual immorality. The President in his appeal for abstinence and marital faithfulness got that right but who listens?

In the last stages of AIDS, any bodily fluid transmits the virus. Identify the HIV positive carriers and then isolate them. Health care workers and family members are endanger of infection.

Unfortunately, AIDS is treated as a social condition rather than a highly contagious disease. As more and more countries cut back on foreign aid, there will be less and less money spent to prolong the lives of HIV positive carriers. Prevention is essential.
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+1 #4 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 05:27
Require a HIV/AIDS blood test for a marriage license.
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+2 #5 Barefoot Intactivist 2012-12-03 08:24
He's HALF right. Circumcision is worthless -it's actually a harmful genital mutilation.

Condoms save lives and should be promoted.

A 2009 USAID study -- quickly swept under the rug -- showed that circumcised men were just as likely or more to have HIV vs. uncircumcised (intact) men. The current US-driven push to cut all of the African men's genitals is pure insanity.

Full report, see page 111: Circumcision does not prevent HIV. A 2009 study from USAID showed that in 10 of 18 countries with data available, circumcised men were MORE likely to have HIV!

This study was promptly swept under the rug as it did not fit in with the pro-circumcision propaganda machine currently being pushed in Africa by the US government (PEPFAR/USAID).

Full report here: http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf
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+4 #6 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 08:50
Quoting Barefoot Intactivist:
Circumcision does not prevent HIV.


I have never read claims that male circumcision prevents HIV. What I have read is circumcision slows the transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus.

Amazing how protective African men can be over the foreskin and yet live in a society where some tribes still practice far more dangerous FGM.
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+3 #7 doctordre 2012-12-03 09:06
The fight against HIV should be comprehensive and holistic. We can only mitigate the scourge if we follow A(Abstinence) B(Being Faithful) C (Condoms).

Sexual immorality will always be there, but let us not forget the GAVI funds scandal. We need to get serious again.
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+3 #8 Denzil 2012-12-03 13:00
M7 always rushes to to throw blame at others. Can the president also remind Ugandans when he ever blamed himself or atleast his henchmen for robbing Uganda to rags since 1986?
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0 #9 Flavia Myro 2012-12-03 14:50
This is where we always go wrong in the fight against HIV. The blame game never works. The resident should rather be asking how the country can regain the past achievement in this battle.

I believe as a country we need to get back to the drawing board. ABC was a winning formular and 5 years without it everything changed. Now with advancement in therapy we may need to sit on a round table and re-think next steps
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+1 #10 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 15:39
Quoting Denzil:
M7 always rushes to to throw blame at others.


My disapproval of THE DICTATOR is because he overstayed. What he does understand is AIDS is a contagious disease spread primarily by immoral behaviour.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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0 #11 Raymond Otika 2012-12-03 16:53
God is not an idiot. The male foreskin is not an idle and disorderly body part to be cut off and thrown away by perverts.

It was designed and put, where it is, for a definite/specific purpose. Ever seen the eyes without the eyelids?

Else, the eyelid or foreskin shouldn't be there: Hence circumcision is a false justification and a perversion of a promiscuous generation.
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0 #12 Raymond Otika 2012-12-03 16:59
History repeats itself or we repeat it: According to Herodotus the Greek historian and the father of History, circumcision started in ancient Egypt where sexually transmitted diseases (STD): syphilis, gonorrhea, etc., at some point became epidemic.

And promiscuity (hedonism) in ancient time was usually headquartered in the palaces (still is in State/White Houses [Bill Clinton & Lewinsky]), and responsible for the spread of STDs. Because the royals especially the male ones, in their idleness and licentious lifestyle, free sex was and still is their occupation.

Like King David, the so call royals fall for any beautiful woman: married, slave or free, and force them into sex against their will and spread the damn thing to villagers! And when the palace physicians' trial and error of removing the foreskin worked, circumcision became religious and mandatory in Egypt and the Mediterranean, and Middle East followed suit!
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+1 #13 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 18:45
Quoting Raymond Otika:
The male foreskin is not an idle and disorderly body part to be cut off and thrown away by perverts.


Consider what God told Abraham the father of all who believe.

And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. Acts 7:8
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0 #14 Ndongereye 2012-12-03 18:45
Blame..Blame..and more Blame. When will the President ever blame himself?
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+2 #15 Tusiime Aine 2012-12-03 21:58
I think that President Museveni is right on this one. Having said that, it is well and good to blame everyone else but at the end of the day, we, Ugandans must take full responsibility for our actions.

When society is so morally bankrupt, treat casual sex as a norm with people sleeping around just for kicks, then there is a heavy price to pay, and pay we will. While we all sympathize with aids suffers (especially children) who for no fault of their own became victims of the virus, I hate to say it and I may come across as heartless and harsh but the majority of Aids suffers are living in a " human cesspool of their own making".
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+1 #16 Akot 2012-12-03 22:39
Museveni has a very short memory! His fighters were infested with HIV/Aids & they transmitted this to thousands in Uganda when they came in!

Thousands of Museveni's fighters died of Aids; he hasen't even build a memorial in their memory to remind us how Aids is so dangerous & he, Museveni is one of those who helped spread it in Uganda!
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+2 #17 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 23:21
Quoting Tusiime Aine:
I hate to say it and I may come across as heartless and harsh but the majority of Aids suffers are living in a " human cesspool of their own making".


ATTAWAY! Tusiime Aine. We can all think of innocent victims but they are the exception not the rule of AIDS deaths. You cannot separate the moral issue from the infectious disease transmitted primarily through sex.

The only safe sex is between a man and a woman in holy matrimony.
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+1 #18 Engoratonot 2012-12-04 00:50
Idle minds will always resort to lack of funds/resources for any failures in a system. Ugandans and the Ministry of Health specifically, have failed to develop robust sustainable community grassroots HIV/AIDs sensitization mechanisms that last the test of time.

With all the resources that have been invested in the process over years, Uganda should be having self sustaining perpetuating community sensitization systems, entirely run by as down the grassroots as possible by community volunteers.

We cannot wait for jittery donors to fund these kinds of processes after all these funds get stolen by greedy politicians anyway.

I am no fan of M7 but I do agree that abstinence is one major way out of this problem and the second is faithfulness and these are the only sustainable means of prevention.
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0 #19 kabayekka 2012-12-04 03:16
One wants to know if lots of money given to this campaign was properly used 1990/2012. Has the commissioner got any audit report about all this medical process?

One wants to hope that lots of this money was not used for political gains of NRM now 26 years.
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+1 #20 Raymond Otika 2012-12-04 09:13
Betty, the number of times I read your contributions; you seem to be well versed with the good book. But there is a lot of controversies about the history and practice of circumcision.

If my loose memory serves me well, even Abraham's circumcision was conducted by non other than Sarah his wife, probably as an Entry Permit while they were en-route to Egypt; where circumcision was already a must (edict) for all male children or adults and visitors.

Remember, the Egyptian Pharaohs were gods and their decrees were final. And as I mentioned about the promiscuous conduct of the so call royals; if Abraham had not declared Sarah as his sister, he would have been killed, and Sarah taken, defiled by Pharaoh and infected with syphilis.
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