By Felix Tumwesigye
Kabale district has disputed media reports indicating that 90 percent of the people that tested for HIV/AIDS between October 2018 and March 2019 tested positive.
The media reports by Watchdog Uganda went ahead to indicate that the situation in the district was shocking and almost out of control.
Kabale district with the support of USAID Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in Southwestern Uganda (RHITES SW Project), has achieved great gains in the fight against HIV. According to the district statistician, only 1 percent of those tested actually turned out to be HIV positive with a space of six months.
Sources indicate that the authors of the reports instead mixed up a campaign dubbed 90-90-90 strategy launched in 2014.
The Uganda government through the Ministry of Health and in partnership with USAID and other development partners is implementing the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy launched in 2014, to end AIDs as a public health threat by 2020.
According to RHITES-SW of the 9,431 people are estimated to be living with HIV in Kabale district, 90% of these which is about 8,490 people should be aware of their status, 90% of those aware of their HIV status would be on treatment (about 7,639) and 90% which is about 6,875 should have achieved viral suppression and as such living healthier.
Overall, for all the 90-90-90 targets as indicated above, Kabale district is on track to achieving the UNAIDS targets for those aware of their HIV status through testing, on ART treatment and viral suppression.
On a positive note, the number of those who tested positive is 1%, not 90%.
From the facility monthly reports submitted to the District Health Office, in 6 months, which is more time than was mentioned in the article, (October 2018-March 2019), a total of 38,200 individuals were tested for HIV at the health facilities and communities and 369, which is about 1% were found to be positive.
Alfred Besigensi the Kabale district Health Educator says that there was a mix up of issues where the 90-90-90 approach was misinterpreted by the media causing a public outcry.
Besigensi says that the situation in Kabale is under control.