Tuesday, February 5, 2013

 

Civil Society Position on Uganda's Aids response, LGBTI marginalisation to health access

MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release: 16 October 2012 Contact for more information: Alice Kayongo-Mutebi, Community Health Alliance Uganda, 0772440108/0701440108 alkayongo@gmail.com Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA) Uganda AIDS Information Centre (AIC) Uganda • Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) Uganda • Health Global Access Project (Health GAP) • Health Rights Action Group (HAG) • International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) Eastern Africa • International HIV/AIDS Alliance Uganda • National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA) • National Forum of People Living with HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda (NAFOPHANU) The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) Uganda • Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET) Uganda Health and Science Press Association (UHSPA) Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO) Uganda’s AIDS Response is Moving in Reverse—Immediate Corrective Action Needed Coalition of AIDS Advocates Call for Aggressive Expansion of Treatment and Evidence-Based Prevention to Save Lives, Halt New Infections and End the AIDS Epidemic (Kampala) On the same day of the opening of Uganda’s 2012 Joint Annual AIDS Review (JAAR), AIDS advocacy organisations called for urgent action by the Government of Uganda to support aggressive scale up of treatment and evidence based prevention. (The JAAR is the annual national assessment of performance in implementation of the National AIDS Strategic Plan.) “The additional up-front costs of accelerating treatment and prevention are marginal compared with the massive costs of Uganda’s current, flawed approach,” said Leonard Okello, Country Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Uganda. “New research shows that earlier, faster HIV treatment scale up is highly cost effective, saves lives and prevents new infections. Together with high impact prevention efforts, Uganda can halt new transmissions and reverse the troubling trends of rising prevalence and incidence.” The coalition released an analysis and report, called “The Change We Need to End AIDS in Uganda,” which describes ten priority action steps needed to drastically improve the struggling national response. These priorities include: 1. HIV treatment—earlier, faster and owned by communities 2. Focus on high impact HIV prevention 3. Endorse and expand save medical male circumcision 4. Expand government funding—through an AIDS Levy and through greater funding for the health sector and the AIDS response 5. Tackle the health systems challenges that hold back the response to AIDS 6. Promote and rebuild community systems that deliver vital prevention and treatment services as well as advocacy 7. Get serious about defending and protecting the rights of women and girls 8. Strengthen HIV testing 9. Close the data gaps—and accept evidence from communities 10. End harmful policies that further marginalize vulnerable groups

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