Uganda's first lady revitalizing the country's HIV/AIDS responseListen /
The First Lady of Uganda has stepped up her efforts to fight HIV.
Janet K Museveni showed her commitment to stopping new HIV infections in children by bringing a national campaign to Karamoja, one of the most disadvantaged regions of her country. She launched the Elimination of Mother-to-Child- Transmission of HIV (eMTCT) Campaign in Moroto, a city in the north eastern region on 16 September.
The campaign is part of the government's push to prevent new HIV infections among children by promoting an antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen where all pregnant women living with HIV are provided ART for life. This is consistent with the 2013 World Health Organization guidelines which recommend that ART be initiated in certain populations including pregnant and breast-feeding women in resource limited settings.
Speaking at the launch, the First Lady who is also the Cabinet Minister for Karamoja Affairs said "Sadly, 65 babies are born with HIV every day in Uganda", adding “We must give appropriate, life-saving messages if we are going to reverse this trend."
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé applauded the First Lady for her personal commitment to bringing HIV treatment and care services to women in poor and marginalized communities.
He said "Uganda brought hope to millions of people. It showed the world that AIDS can be overcome and Africans can have access to treatment", adding "This hope was built on courage, strong leadership and partnership".
Uganda was recognized as a leader in Africa's HIV response and was one of the first four developing countries in the world to provide people living with HIV with access to life-saving treatment.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.