RSCE Stand As a Community to Fight AIDS
“We should stand together as a community to support those living and affected by HIV. Together we can stop the stigma surrounding HIV in our community.” Said Paulin Djomo, Director RSCE at the World AIDS Day celebrations held on 1 December in Entebbe.
The theme for 2023 is Let Communities Lead.
In remarks from Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director UNAIDS delivered by Dr. Hamidullah Saleh, she said, “The end of AIDS is possible, it is within our grasp. To follow the path that ends AIDS, the world needs to let communities lead.”
She also pointed out that communities are being held back in their leadership. Funding shortages, policy and regulatory hurdles, capacity constraints, and crackdowns on civil society and on the human rights of marginalised communities, are obstructing the progress of HIV prevention and treatment services.
“If these obstacles are removed, community-led organisations can add even greater impetus to the global HIV response, advancing progress towards the end of AIDS.” She added.
Dr. Susan Tusiime UNMISS Medical Officer at the UN Entebbe Campus, reminded staff during her presentation that HIV/AIDS is a community disease in all aspects of prevention, spread and even management.
She also advised that despite great strides in the fight to end AIDS, we are still far behind the global UNAIDS target 95/95/95 by 2025 (95% of the people who are living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 95% of the people who know that they are living with HIV being on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of people who are on treatment being virally suppressed) and SDG goal 3.3 of an AIDS free world by 2030.
She also shared the latest updates on HIV therapy which include the new injectable Cabenuva which is 6 doses administered annually as opposed to the daily pill that came to 365 doses annually.
Representatives from The AIDS Support Office also delivered a message through song on how to fight AIDS while Musician, Environmentalist and Child Activist, Leyna Kagere, East Africa’s got Talent’s first golden buzzer winner put on a spirited performance of her song Protect Us, Am A Child.
Award winning comedian, Teacher Mapamire, had the crowd in stitches just before the lighting of candles to remember all those that have lost their lives in the fight against AIDS.
The resounding call at the World AIDS Day celebrations was to stand together as a community.to deliver on the 95/95/95 and end AIDS by 2030.