KAMPALA – The Director-General Uganda AIDS Commission Mr. Nelson Musooba has said that the government has an ambition of defeating HIV/AIDS by 2030.
Musooba was on Sunday, March 1 speaking at the International Day of HIV Zero Discrimination Campaign held in Bwaise, Kampala organised by Uganda Network on Law Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET).
Zero Discrimination Day is observed each year on March 1, with the aim of highlighting issues related to all forms of discrimination around the world.
Under the theme is “Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls”, Musooba said that discrimination is a practice or behaviour where people think that they are different because of their status differences.
Mr. Musoba appealed to everyone to treat people living with HIV the same way as those who are negative, saying that these people can as well become important like others.
“We have HIV people who are doctors, lawyers, members of Parliament, Generals in the military. So we should not discriminate against anybody because of their HIV status,” he said.
“We know how HIV is transmitted and those who are negative can prevent themselves from becoming positive. Those who are positive you know that if you take your medication, you will live a productive life just like those who are negative,” he added.
He also revealed that as the Commission, they are in advanced stages of introducing an injection which one will not need to take tablets every day.
UGANET Executive Director Ms. Dorah Kiconco Musinguzi has strongly condemned the discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, tasking the government and all relevant organizations to fight it with the strongest means.
“For us who work in HIV response, we are here today in Uganda to have a conversation in this community to add to that cause that there should be no discrimination,” she said.
Quoting the national constitution article 21, Ms Dorah said that all Ugandans are entitled to equal rights regardless of their status.
She said that several women face domestic violence which she says is one way of discrimination and that this increases their chances of getting HIV.
Ms. Dorah revealed that several HIV victims in the country have been denied job opportunities due to their status.
“You hear these export companies taking people to go work abroad, Director-General sir (AIDS Commission), if you presented a paper that you are HIV positive, you will not be allowed to go and work,” she deeply expressed her concern.
The function was also attended by different celebrities including singers Levixone real name Sam Lucus Lubyogo and Joanita Kawalya and kickboxer Golola Moses who all urged people to completely fight against discrimination of all kinds.
Uganda Network on Law Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET)is national non- governmental organization that was established in 1995 to bring together organizations and individuals who are interested in advocating for the development and strengthening of an appropriate policy, legal, human rights and ethical response to Health and HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
For the past 20 years, the UGANET mandate lies on the foundation that the law, legal policies and human rights are critical enablers in influencing the success of Health and HIV interventions intended to prevent further spread and also mitigate the adverse social impact and suffering caused by HIV and other Health conditions.
UGANET envisions a Uganda free from human rights abuses in the context of Health and HIV. Its current strategic goal is to Reduce HIV and Gender-based Vulnerability through increased Legal and Social protection.
UGANET employs three main strategies in pursuit of its goals – Advocacy and Policy influencing, Access to Justice to through provision of Legal aid, mobilizing community to drive their own change.