MBARARA – As the president of Uganda Yoweri Museveni launched his presidential Fast- track initiative on ending HIV and AIDS in Uganda by 2030, he strongly criticized circumcision as a way to prevent contraction of HIV/AIDS but rather asked people to refrain themselves from having unprotected sex.
Museveni noted that Ugandans have failed to appreciate that AIDS does not spread like Ebola where you don’t have to greet the infected person, he says HIV spreads through one way of having unprotected sex with an infected person and that this is very easy to be avoided.
He said this while launching his initiative in south western Uganda and was held at Isingiro district headquarters where all representatives from 16 districts attended.
Museveni castigated the talk of circumcision in efforts to prevent and reducing transmission and contraction of HIV.
“I have always heard people and partners saying that when you are circumcised you don’t contract the virus, does your body become armoured simply because you are circumcised? That’s nonsense, if its preventive, how come those in the religion where they circumcise have the virus?, I think the message should avoid sex which is not protected.”
He said this has confused the masses, “before we started this campaign the HIV prevalence was at 18% then it dropped to 6% but when they started this talk of circumcision it confused the masses then it went up to now 7.3%, there is much laxity among the members of the public and that’s why we need to fast-track the awareness so that by 2030 there is no virus in Uganda.”
Museveni further said that after testing and then introduced to ARVs, that person can live longer suppress the viral load to the extent that the infected person but on ARVs can no longer transmit the virus.
However, he noted that the public should not celebrate that the government brought ARVs and they live careless lives. Museveni said that these ARVS also have a side effect on one’s health. He said that they can cause kidney failure, shrinking of the born and can cause mumps.
It should be noted that the presidential Fast-Track initiative has a 90-90-90 targets whereby they say at least 90% of all HIV positive persons identified through responsive HIV testing service, at least 90% of all identified HIV positive persons enrolled on ARVs and at least 90%of all persons on HIV treatment adhering to treatment in order to attain and sustain viral suppression.
It shows further that at least 1.4 millions of people in Uganda live with HIV of these 1,041,000 are enrolled in care and 980,954 are on ARV treatment.
Patrick Keihwa Besigye the chairman LCV for kabala who doubles as the vice chairman ULGA who spoke on behalf of all chairmen from 16 districts said that they have realized that the percentage of men who go for testing is still minimal as compared to women. He noted that so far 45% of men only go for testing and 90% of women go for testing which he said is still a big challenge.