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Byanyima Urges Against Stigma On 34th Anniversary of World AIDS Day

Thursday marks the 34th anniversary of World AIDS Day. At a global level, the UN joint Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) says it is a moment to honor 40 million lives lost to AIDS, take stock of the AIDS response, and commit to ending AIDS.

The slogan for this year’s World Aids Day is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV” It encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care.

The UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima in a message said to end AIDS, there is need to tackle the inequalities in resourcing and end stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS.

According to Byanyima, an inequality that breaks her heart is against children living with HIV.

First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day is a day to unite to help end HIV and remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses.

The commemoration of Worlds Aids day in Uganda will be held in Ntugamo district. A statement by U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission William D. Bent in Uganda hailed Uganda’s efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Brenet said Uganda has long been considered one of the world’s most compelling success stories in combating the spread of HIV. 

“The country’s early adoption of a multi-sectoral approach to HIV and AIDS, and its recognition that the epidemic was not only a public health problem but also a complex development challenge, helped reduce HIV infection rates. Building on this early success, Uganda continues to make significant progress towards eliminating HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030” he said.

The U.S government has since early 2000 been one of Uganda’s largest partners in HIV/AIDS programming under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

“Uganda can be proud of the progress made over the past 19 years of PEPFAR implementation and we appreciate the ongoing and deep coordination with the Global Fund and UNAIDS,” said Brent.

Uganda according to Brent is one of a few countries to reach the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals and effective control of the HIV pandemic.

“We now must work to sustain the impact and begin the long-term, gradual transformation of the program, including the merging, management, and oversight of HIV services in more intentional alignment and integration with domestic systems,” suggested Brent.

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