As a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to improving the health of all Ugandans, the United States Government has increased its assistance related to HIV treatment and prevention through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
On her recent visit to South Africa, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah L. Birx – accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac and Ugandan Minister of Health Dr. Jane Aceng – approved PEPFAR’s 2017 Country Operational Plan for Uganda, which includes $402 million in funding for various HIV/AIDS-related programming over the coming year.
This assistance, an increase from last year’s $391 million PEPFAR budget for Uganda, will continue to focus on building the country’s capacity to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. PEPFAR funding supports Uganda’s efforts to realize the ambitious “90-90-90” goals: that by the year 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV will be on antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
PEPFAR’s 2017 Country Operational Plan will also focus on identifying and treating HIV positive men, supporting voluntary male medical circumcisions to help prevent HIV transmission, and ensuring that HIV-positive children remain virally suppressed through care and treatment. In addition, PEPFAR-funded programs will continue to support human resources for health and pharmaceutical supply chains, both of which are vital in providing treatment to the people
Ambassador Malac emphasized the importance that the health of Uganda’s population has on the country’s overall development. “Improving the well-being of every Ugandan is critical to achieving the country’s full potential,” she said. “A healthy life ultimately produces a prosperous future.” The Ambassador also noted the key role this assistance will have in creating a brighter future for the country.
The United States is the world’s leading global health donor and largest provider of health assistance to Uganda, where an estimated 1.35 million people are living with HIV. PEPFAR-funded programs are currently providing more than 890,000 Ugandans with life-saving antiretroviral therapy, roughly 93 percent of all those receiving such treatment.