Limited funding, lack of adherence hurting the fight against HIV

By Alex Byakatonda

Health experts in Kabale District, have highlighted limited funding,
lack of adherence to antiretroviral drugs by people living with HIV and
lack of an HIV policy, as some of the factors that are hindering the
implementation of the 2021 HIV National policy guidelines on ending
stigma and discrimination.

The Uganda Aids Commission in partnership with the National Forum for
People Living with HIV, developed National policy guidelines on ending
stigma and discrimination among the people living with the HIV virus.
The guidelines, which were launched in October last year and later
disseminated to all 136 districts of Uganda, were aimed at eliminating
all forms of stigma and discrimination among Persons living with
HIV/AIDS, through a multi-sectoral approach in order to realize the
presidential initiative of ending HIV by 2030.

Now, speaking yesterday Kabale District Rukiiko hall, during a one
mult-stakeholders meeting, the Kabale district health educator, Alfred
Besigensi, observed that limited fund for carrying out outreaches on
stigma and lack of HIV policy guidelines to force institutions put in
place mechanisms to fight against stigma and discrimination, have
continued to deter people living with HIV virus from adhering to
antiretroviral drugs.
The meeting attracted officials from Uganda Aids commission and Kabale
district HIV/AIDS coordination committee, and leaders of associations
of people living with HIV.

Besigensi adds that the district currently has over 9,000 positive
people living with HIV, who are currently on antiretroviral therapy,
out which 628, were recorded last year.
According to the Kabale district statistician, Benon Kwitonda, the
district only allocates 0.1 percent of its budget for the
implementation of all HIV/AIDS intervention and control measures.

The Uganda Aids Commission director of policy, research and
programming, Dr Zepher Karyabakabo, said that Uganda Aids Commission,
is finalizing on negotiations with the ministry of finance to ensure
that districts commit at least 0.6 percent of their annual budgets,
towards implementation of all HIV/AIDS intervention and control
measures beginning next financial year.
Dr Karyabakaabo, adds that the commission is in final stages of
negotiations with the Parish Development Model secretariat to have the
HIV/Aids intervention and control measures incorporated in the
implementation of the program, as one of the ways to end the scourge
by 2030.

Dr Karyabakabo adds that the collaboration is intended to reduce the
costs incurred on information dissemination to the common person.

while opening the meeting, the Kabale District Chairperson, Nelson
Nshangabasheija, pledged the district’s commitment to embracing all
avenues intended at fighting against the HIV pandemic.