HIV/AIDS Efforts Should Target At-Risk Groups

Armen Hareyan's picture

HIV/AIDSprevention and education efforts should target at-risk groups -- includingrefugees, internally displaced people, fishing communities, truck drivers,commercial sex workers and the disabled -- Ugandan President Yoweri Musevenisaid Sunday at the launch of a regional HIV/AIDS partnership program inKampala, Uganda, the New Vision reports. In a speech read by Ethicsand Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo, Museveni said, "Detailed studies in Uganda havefound these" high-risk groups are contributing to the spread of HIV,adding that the groups are "normally hard to reach."

According to the New Vision, the partnership program will be runby IGAD -- a regional body that includes Djibouti, Eritrea,Kenya, Somalia, Sudanand Uganda.The four-year, $15 million program will be based in Uganda and will receive fundingfrom the World Bank through the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund. The program seeks to fostercollaboration in combating HIV/AIDS with a focus on the refugees, internallydisplaced people, and cross-border and mobile groups in IGAD states.

Museveni applauded IGAD member states for their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. Hesaid the ABC strategy -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and usecondoms -- remains an important part of efforts to curb the spread of HIV. Headded that other strategies also should be utilized to help fight HIV/AIDS."Programs like prevention of mother-to-child transmission must be scaledup, and we must support efforts to find an AIDS vaccine," he said (Baguma,New Vision, 1/28).

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