There are striking similarities with the history of HIV/AIDS response in Senegal, where an equally high-level political response was encouraged by the fact that the HIV-2 strain of the disease was discovered by a Senegalese scientist Dr Mboup.
US-sponsored abstinence promotions have received recent criticism from observers for denying young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than sexual abstinence until marriage. Human Rights Watch says that such programmes "leave Uganda’s children at risk of HIV". Alternatively, the Roman Catholic organization Human Life International says that "condoms are adding to the problem, not solving it" and that "The government of Uganda believes its people have the human capacity to change their risky behaviors." People in Uganda are also being taught the ABCD's. A=Abstinence, B=Be Faithful, C=Condom use, or D=Death.
There have been calls for a more nuanced view of Uganda's response to HIV/AIDS. There is no doubt that there has been sustained, long term political commitment at the highest levels of government on this issue. Determining why this happened in stark contrast to the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa is the key question.
One argument is the drop in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates had more to do with the end of the civil war in 1985 than with any prevention efforts which happened subsequently. Nonetheless, there was an appearance that these efforts had been working. This helped create a virtuous cycle, whereby in was in the interest of politicians to talk about HIV/AIDS as this helped the prestige of the country and encouraged HIV/AIDS related aid money.
Several studies, conducted in Uganda and its neighbors, indicate that adult male circumcision may be a cost-effective means of reducing HIV infection. A review on the acceptability of adult male circumcision indicated Across studies, the median proportion of uncircumcised men willing to become circumcised was 65% (range 29-87%). Sixty nine percent (47-79%) of women favored circumcision for their partners, and 71% (50-90%) of men and 81% (70-90%) of women were willing to circumcise their sons.
An economic analysis by Bertran Auvert, MD, from the INSERM U687, Saint-Maurive, France, and colleagues estimated the cost of a roll-out over an initial 5-year period would be $1036 million ($748 – $1319 million) and $965 million ($763 – $1301 million) for private and public health sectors, respectively. The cumulative net cost over the first 10 years was estimated at $1271 million and $173 million for the private and public sectors, respectively . After adjustment for averted HIV medical costs, the researchers determined that the program would result in a net savings of about $2 per adult per year over the first 20 years of the program.
Living with AIDS in Uganda; impacts on banana-farming households in two districts.(AWLAE series, no. 6 )(Brief article)(Book review)
Jun 01, 2009; 9789086860647 Living with AIDS in Uganda; impacts on banana-farming households in two districts. Beraho, Monica Karuhanga....