Nigeria Discusses Plans To Adopt Uganda’s HIV/AIDS Strategy
Nigeria plans to learn from the experiences of Ugandan HIV/AIDS prevention programs to address its HIV/AIDS epidemic, Babatunde Osotimehin, chair of Nigeria's National Action Committee on AIDS, said on Monday, Xinhua News Agency reports. Osotimehin said, "We have started talking and we are learning a lot from them." He added that Uganda's strategy has been successful because the "president, vice president, state governors, ministers and other top government functionaries were involved and committed to the battle" (Xinhua News Agency, 4/21). UNAIDS estimates that 5% of the general adult population of Uganda is HIV-positive and that the HIV prevalence rate for pregnant women in Uganda has stabilized at 6.5%, down from about 30% in 1992. In addition, rates among high-risk groups, including truck drivers and sex workers, have fallen from 35% to between 12% and 15%. Although there is not a single explanation for Uganda's reduced HIV prevalence rates, the government's involvement in addressing the epidemic is widely recognized to be an important factor in the country's success. Since 1986, Uganda has used the "ABC" HIV/AIDS prevention model; ABC stands for "Abstinence, Be faithful, or use Condoms" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/15). Osotimehin said that Uganda's prevention programs are successful because the country utilized a "multi-sectoral approach, with education at its base," according to Xinhua. Osotimehin said that he plans to go to Uganda next month to continue discussions. According to the Nigerian government, 5.7% of the country's population is HIV-positive (Xinhua News Agency, 4/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.