TBY NICHOLAS OPOLOT
The John Sentamu Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian
Law has hosted an HIV legal clinic in partnership with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and UNAIDS.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Karusa Kiriagu, Uganda’s country representative of UNAIDS, said that there is need to transform the treatment of HIV to make it manageable.
“The Government should take reasonable measures
to eliminate HIV/AIDS along with the help of civil society organizations and other stakeholders.
“We need to broker relationships and the capacity to fight HIV to create a space where Uganda can move forward without stigma and discrimination. Everybody who needs it must have access to HIV treatment,” she said.
Dr Daniel Byamukama of the Uganda AIDS Commission noted that currently Uganda has 1.3 million people living with HIV and the country made an international
commitment to eliminate AIDS by 2030. “This goal can only be achieved by increasing anti-retroviral treatment coverage, viral load suppression and scaling up interventions to boost the national HIV response,” he said. He cited the programme’s challenges as lack of specific policies for most at-risk populations such as homosexuals and sex workers. He also reminded the participants that lawyers have a duty to enforce the law and protect persons living
with HIV/AIDS and other key affected populations. The September 28 to 29 meeting, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Serena Kampala Hotel, was attended by Mr Quinten Lataire, programme officer Human Rights and Law at UNAIDS; Ms Judith Alyek, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS; and Dr Anthony Kakooza, the dean, Faculty of Law, UCU. Uganda has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in women in the world, standing at 7.5 percent.