Married Couples Account for Largest Proportion of New HIV Infections in Uganda, Study Shows
Married couples account for the largest proportion of new HIV infections in Uganda, Apuuli Kihumuro, director-general of the country's AIDS Commission, said on Friday, the Monitor/AllAfrica.com reports. According to research conducted from 1996 through 2005, 42% of the 130,000 new HIV infections in the country occurred within marriage, Kihumuro said, adding that 22% occurred through commercial sex. Mother-to-child HIV transmission accounted for 21% of new infections and "casual sex" accounted for 14%, the Monitor/AllAfrica.com reports (Bagala, Monitor/AllAfrica.com, 12/4). Kihumuro attributed the high number of HIV infections occurring within marriage to couples not knowing their HIV status, couples engaging in sex with multiple partners and reluctance by married couples to use condoms (Xinhuanet, 12/4). According to the study, within the next five years, more than one million people living in Uganda will become HIV-positive and 500,000 will die of AIDS-related illnesses (Monitor/AllAfrica.com, 12/4). "Even when we double coverage of treatment and sensitization, the number of new infections in the next five years will remain staggering," Kihumuro said (Xinhuanet, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.