Children Living With HIV/AIDS in Uganda Not Adequately Covered Under Antiretroviral Treatment Program, Health Minister Says
Children living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda have not been adequately covered by the country's antiretroviral treatment program, and increased efforts should be made to provide them with improved care and treatment, State Minister of Health Emmanuel Otaala said recently, Uganda's Daily Monitor reports. According to Otaala, the commitment exhibited in launching the country's ABC prevention method -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- also should be used to improve the situation of children living with the disease.
According to statistics from Uganda's Ministry of Health and UNAIDS, about 110,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS in the country. Out of these, about 50,000 children need access to antiretroviral therapy, but only 10,000 receive it. Mother-to-child transmission of the virus is the second most common mode of transmission in Uganda, accounting for 21% of all new HIV cases in the country, according to the Monitor. About one million children are born to HIV-positive women annually, and out of these, 25,000 become HIV-positive. It is estimated that about 1.1 million people are living with the virus in Uganda, the Monitor reports.
According to UNICEF Country Representative Keith McKenzie, Uganda's mother-to-child transmission program should be strengthened to prevent more children from contracting the virus (Nafula, Daily Monitor, 10/8).