Uganda releases preliminary results of the 2016 Uganda population HIV impact assessment

HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) indicating that the total number of adults and children of all ages living with HIV in Uganda is estimated to be approximately 1.3 million.

The 2016 UPHIA indicated a fall in HIV national prevalence at 6% compared to 7.3% according to the 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey. This indicates that Uganda has made significant progress in the national HIV response. Among women and men, HIV prevalence declined from 8.3% and 6.1% in 2011 to 7.5% and 4.3% in 2016 respectively. In urban areas, it also declined from 8.7% to 7.1% while in rural areas it fell from 7.0% to 5.5%. These declines in HIV prevalence are due to the intensified HIV prevention and treatment services in the country that lead to a decrease in the number of new infections in recent years.

Furthermore, the report shows that 60% of people living with HIV have suppressed viral load showing the positive impact of treatment programs that are accessed by a majority of people living with HIV. The results of the 2016 UPHIA indicate that the current prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15 – 49 years in Uganda is 6%, 0.5% in children under the age of five, while among those aged 5 – 14 years, it is also 0.5%.

In her remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng commended health workers and partners for the efforts made to tackle HIV&AIDS in the country, saying, "The results of the survey indicate that our efforts are not in vain." Dr. Jane called for increased advocacy and awareness creation in order to bring the figures further down. “If we step up our efforts, in partnership we can achieve an AIDS-free Uganda", she said.

The Acting World Health Organization Representative in Uganda, Dr. Abdoulie Jack congratulated the Ministry of Health and partners for successfully carrying out the survey. He further said that the results will inform future interventions and decision making at all levels in the health sector, to tackle the HIV&AIDS scourge in the country. "WHO continues to provide technical and financial support to the country to achieve an HIV-free generation", he said.

The survey however identified existing gaps in HIV programs and specific populations that need special focus. HIV prevalence among those aged 15-19 years was 1.1 %, 3.3 % among those aged 20-24 years and 6.3% among those aged 25-29 years indicating that new infections remain an issue in these age groups. This continuing infection risk necessitates innovative interventions to prevent new infections in young people beginning around age 20.

Furthermore, the report indicates that Viral Load Suppression (VLS) among women aged 15-24 years and men under 35 years of age who are living with HIV have is below 50%, a statistic that calls for increased advocacy for people to know their HIV status and access available services and care.

The 2016 UPHIA was a nationwide survey conducted to provide estimates of HIV incidence, HIV prevalence, viral load suppression, syphilis, hepatitis B infection, and other important HIV/AIDS program indicators. Data were collected in all districts of the country from a sample of households that are representative of the Ugandan population.

 

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