Saturday, 25 August 2007

Uganda: ABC Aids Strategy is the Way to Go

STATISTICS project that in 2010, 100 million people will be HIV-positive globally. As usual, majority of these will be the poor from Africa and Asia. Uganda's success story of reducing HIV prevalence from 30% to 6% will soon be a gone case. We have forgotten where we came from yet uncertain of the future.

Uganda's point was clear: Aids kills, abstain from sex before marriage and be faithful in marriage. Hope was restored and Uganda became a universal focal point on the Aids issue.

However, the consequences of Uganda's approach were not business friendly because condom-makers would not sell. Secondly, some organisations earn their daily bread from HIV/Aids. These advocate the change of the prevention strategy to anything other than ABC.

Today, abstinence is viewed as a primitive and religious act, but I do not agree with that. What matters is my life. A female friend in her 30s told me how a man had live sex with her after having begun with a condom. She was at that time too emotional to resist. She is now infected with Aids and regrets why she did not choose abstinence.

It is clear to anyone who reads between lines that UNAIDS does not appreciate the ABC model. If, indeed, they supported ABC, their funding would be highest on abstinence.

The Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) has of late been reluctant to do the right thing - pursuing the ABC strategy. Now in their quest to get funding, the UAC bows down to donor demands. They have become more of reporters on Aids than "trouble-shooters". Recently, they reported that Aids is fast spreading among married people without doing anything to protect marriage. They should defend the ABC strategy, especially before the donors. And where principle is involved, be deaf to expedience. What good is there in getting the money and you lose lives?

Let us make our point clear that we are not about to change our strategy. All Ugandans should rise up to defend this cause at any cost.

We also need to fund abstinence activists and come up with programmes to promote marriage to counter the reports of increased infections among married people.

The secret to success is consistency of purpose and this is what every human being should pursue. We can do our job well in one accord and kick Aids out of Uganda.


Jemdude's Comments:

It looks like there is more to the incentive to promote condom use than meets the eye. It is really shameful when organizations put money over people just because they make more money promoting condoms than saving lives and good health. It is even more shameful when they actually make money on the disease itself and want to keep the disease from being curable. Condoms may reduce the risk, but they do not eliminate the risk.

1 comment:

Neal Ford said...

Big Pharma is huge and the greasing of palms is a drop in the bucket for them. How easy it is to turn a blind eye to something if suddenly your debts are promised to be wiped out, or you fwill fibaly be able to take yur kids to Disneyland or any number of things. Even altruistic things, say if help is promised to other areas of your country, if you just change the policy and help them sell condoms.
It can be so easily rationalized.
Like JPII, I am coming to the point where I am starting to believe that Capitalism may be almost as much of an affront to human dignity and the culture of life as Communism. Money is the ultimate measure of virtue, and human beings are reduced to objects as "consumers".
"Consumer" is one of the ugliest words ever used to describe a person.
It may even reach the point one day where capitalism emerges as an even greater evil than communism was. I can see the day when what business people would call "useless mouths", o whom thy deem as "unprofitable" will be eliminated... look out, senior citizens and disabled.