MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
ENDING AIDS BY 2030 IS POSSIBLE
On June 6, 2017, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the President Fast-Track initiative to end AIDS as a public health threat in Uganda by 2030. After 25 years at the helm of coordinating the HIV response, Uganda AIDS Commission is convinced that ending AIDS as a public health threat is possible, going by the current achievements.
Following the launch of the President Fast-Track initiative, Uganda AIDS Commission, a government body mandated to oversee, plan and coordinated the AIDS prevention and control activities throughout Uganda, and the body responsible for spearheading this President Fast-Track initiative, hit the road and traversed the country. UAC met district leaders to popularize the initiative while paving way for the President’s planned regional engagements as the country prepares to see the end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
During these district engagements one question persisted: Is the end of AIDS in Uganda possibly by 2030. This also leads to other questions like: will you kill those who are already positive? The commission was further reminded that there are only thirteen years left to 2030. Stakeholders were wondering what kind of Magic wand the commission will wave to end AIDS come 2030.
The historic role of the president in leading the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda and Africa and why the Uganda AIDS Commission was placed under the president’s office is not in question, and the president’s offer to provide direct leadership to fight the response was Godsend.
In Uganda, there has been a high level of political will as shown by the President, Parliament and other political leaders at the National and subnational level. The First Lady has done a commendable job by championing the elimination of Mother to Child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Her direct involvement resulted in a sharp decline in the number of babies who acquire HIV from their HIV positive mothers compared to 28,000 per year in 2011. Mother to child transmission of HIV has been reduced by 87%.
Ugandans now only need individual commitment to change lifestyles, get men to be more involved in the fight in order to achieve the global target to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.