UNAIDS Executive Director Piot Praises Uganda’s Efforts in Fighting HIV/AIDS; Calls for Continued Work
UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot on Wednesday "hailed" Uganda's efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Xinhua News Agency reports (Xinhua News Agency, 1/19). Piot -- along with a delegation including the United Kingdom's Department for International Development Permanent Secretary Suma Chakrabarti, Deputy Secretary General of Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bjorn Skogmo and the Director of Operational Quality, Knowledge and Services at the World Bank Gerald Byam -- is in Uganda for a two-day visit to assess the country's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Uganda's Monitor/AllAfrica.com reports. "Uganda has led the way in responding to AIDS," Piot said, adding, "This visit is focused on learning about the advances made in harmonizing and strengthening the national AIDS response" (Lirri, Monitor/AllAfrica.com, 1/19). Piot said the delegation had been "impressed" by the country's progress, including increased access to antiretroviral treatment, and said other countries "have a lot to learn from Uganda," according to Xinhua News Agency. He asked the international donor community to provide consistent and long-lasting financial support, especially for grassroots health and poverty programs. Piot pledged UNAIDS' collaboration with the Ugandan government to improve living conditions, and he called on the country to strengthen existing HIV/AIDS programs and to address sexual violence against women and girls. Uganda, which had an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 18% in the 1990s, has reduced its prevalence to 6%, according to Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua News Agency, 1/19).
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