Statements and Webcast
H. E. Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, Director General, Uganda AIDS
Commission and Head of Uganda Delegation
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
KIHUMURO APUULI, Director General of the AIDS Commission of Uganda, said that, while global figures showed that efforts to combat AIDS were bearing fruit, the response demanded a high level of solidarity. Like many developing countries, Uganda faced challenges in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. About 1.2 million Ugandans, of a total population of 32 million, were HIV-positive. “The task for us is enormous,” he said, calling for a shift in resources to enhance efficiencies and generate results. Political commitment at the highest level would be invaluable to mobilizing resources, especially from the private sector. With support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), among others, studies had reviewed the changing face of the epidemic.
He went on to say that in Uganda, 550,000 needed antiretroviral drugs, but as of December 2010, only 270,000 people had access to them. He noted with optimism research breakthroughs, however, saying that HIV-positive persons should be given hope to live a normal life. The biggest challenge on that front was to mobilize resources. Commendable efforts had been made to find new drugs and implement other strategies, and he called on partners to increase research funding in order to find a cure. Uganda supported the African Union’s position on implementing programmes in line with national laws and due respect for religious and ethical values. In Uganda, women and girls bore the brunt of the epidemic.