Partnerships, Political Commitment Important in Fight Against AIDS, Ugandan Health Minister Says
Political commitment and partnerships with organizations and governments are key to implementing successful HIV/AIDS prevention programs, Ugandan Health Minister Jim Muhwezi said in an interview with the Washington Times (Zarocostas, Washington Times, 6/3). The Ugandan government in 1986 implemented the "ABC" HIV prevention model -- Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms -- which has helped the country lower its HIV prevalence rate (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/19). According to a recent study published in the journal Science, the country's HIV prevalence has dropped 70% since the early 1990s (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/30). "We have managed [to stem the spread of HIV] because we used approaches that did not require money and mobilized the population to prevent HIV infection," Muhwezi said, adding that the "major factor" contributing to the program's success is a "high level" of political commitment from the Ugandan leadership, "especially" President Yoweri Museveni. Muhwezi also said that the government hopes to have 100,000 HIV-positive people on antiretroviral treatment within four months (Washington Times, 6/3). The complete interview is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.