President Yoweri Museveni has contemplated on forceful testing of men for HIV virus because greedy and undisciplined men are reversing the stride in the fight against the disease.
“The problems we have in Uganda now are the men. They are the mobile spreaders of AIDS. They don’t go for testing; therefore they don’t get ARVs and therefore spread the virus. What we want is to force them to test and put the sick on ARVs in that way, we close all the gaps,” he said.
The President was Tuesday speaking at a working lunch organized by AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) on the topic, “Presidential Leadership: Fast Track to End HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria,” at the side-lines of the 29th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union meeting at the Multipurpose Hall at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is a statutory entity of the African Union with the specific mandate to lead advocacy, accountability and resource mobilization efforts to advance a robust African response to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030.
The president’s proposal comes at a time when statistics show an increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country. As of 2015, the estimated HIV prevalence among adults (aged 15 to 49) stood at 7.1%.
Museveni however, vowed to rekindle the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda and Africa, noting improvement in medicine use as well as progress in new techniques including using disposable syringes and blood transfusion.
It’s on this background that the Head of State further argues for the strategy of testing “as soon as you find you are HIV positive go straight for drugs.”
“When you do that, drugs suppress the virus and you can’t infect other people even if you misbehave through unprotected sex.”
Museveni explained that in “1986 when we found out that aids was wide spread, with the prevalence in some areas as high as 30 percent”, he called for mass sensitization of Ugandans.
“I made enduulu, (an alarm). When an enemy comes to the village, you make an alarm. We made sensitization and in no time prevalence dropped from thirty per cent to six in a very short time,” he said.
He asserts that the campaign slowed down into a regression when people abandoned the strategy but it has now been rekindled.