By Kyomugisa Frankline
As we commemorate World AIDS Day, today 1st-Dec-2020. This is a time for remembering the dear friends and loved ones that we’ve lost, celebrating the progress of the east Africa member States in the fight, that has reduced the HIV infection by 38%since 2010; we’ve been able to make it, and most importantly, we should be recommitting ourselves to the mission that we share, which is achieving an AIDS-free generation.
The worldwide HIV epidemic has created a terrible state for millions of individuals, families and communities around the world. Relieving it requires improved healthcare, better access to treatments, Equality, more vigorous prevention efforts, more effective social outreach, and support for those most vulnerable -- particularly orphans.
The HIV prevalence among adults aged 15-49 years in Uganda is currently estimated at 7.3% and new infections have remained high (Uganda AIDS indicator survey 2011), And the HIV prevalence is higher mong the woman compared to their counterparts, 80% of people aquiring it from unprotected sex with the infected persons.
But there is another terrible state imposed by AIDS, which each and every one of us has the capacity to relieve: the state of HIV-related stigma.
Some people with AIDS are being denied basic rights such as food or shelter, and dismissed from jobs they are perfectly fit to perform. They most times shunned by their community, or most tragic of all, by their own families!.
The fear of stigma leads to silence, and when it comes to fighting AIDS, silence is death. It suppresses public discussion about AIDS, and deters people from finding out whether they are infected. It can cause people -- whether a mother breastfeeding her child or a sexual partner reluctant to disclose their HIV status -- to risk transmitting HIV rather than attract suspicion that they might be infected.
The other unfair state which needs urgency globally if we are to bring down the HIV parndemic is Inequality; 12.6 million of 38 millions of people living with HIV have no access to the life saving treatment according to the 2020 UNAID report this sends a clear signals that many of the countries have no enough access to the necessities that fight the HIV.
Having hit by another pandemic covid19 communities, institutions and countries are looking forward to rebuilding economies, and strengthening there systems and energy to stop the pandemic not at all restrategising to fighting the HIV pandemic, this creates fear that if not thought of we are to face the worsed a Head.
The lockdown imposed on communities has continuously contributed to increased male dominance over woman, polygamy, sex with in-laws, widow inheritance alcoholism and early marriages which all contribute to the infection of HIV/AIDS, All these can as well be handled in cultural context if governments, non government organizations mattered much on simultaneously handling the pandemics.
But as well the walls of stigma, Discrimination, Enequality and silence are weakening. There is evidence of progress on every continent. Leaders are speaking out at the highest level. The rights of people living with HIV/AIDS are being defended through the courts. Standards are being set in the workplace. Schools, the media and youth education programmes are helping to create a generation better equipped to live in the world of AIDS. .
But whatever laws and regulations are adopted, the most powerful weapons against stigma and silence are the voices of the world's people speaking up about AIDS. This year's World AIDS Campaign challenges us to ensure that all people, with or without HIV, can realize their human rights and live in dignity. On this World AIDS Day, let us resolve to replace stigma with support, fear with hope, silence with solidarity. Let us act on the understanding that this work begins with each and every one of us and that all pandemics are equally affecting communities.