NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Ugandan Model of AIDS Prevention

May 16, 2003

U.S. legislators have been debating how $15 billion will be used to fight AIDS around the world. Uganda is considered an AIDS success story. While abstinence has played an important role in Uganda, it has not been a magic bullet.

  • Uganda has reduced HIV prevalence from as high as 30 percent among sexually active adults to 5 percent.
  • They have adopted the ABC approach to behavior change -- delayed initiation of sex (abstain), reduction in the number of sexual partners (be faithful) and condom promotion (condomize).
  • Additionally, Uganda's strategy includes a broad range of essential interventions, such as HIV counseling and testing, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and screening of the blood supply.

According to the Global HIV Prevention Working Group, an international panel of AIDS experts, there is a need for effective prevention efforts worldwide:

  • Only 5 percent of women have access to drugs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
  • Just 12 percent of people have access to voluntary HIV counseling and testing.
  • Of those at high risk, 24 percent have access to AIDS education.
  • Only 42 percent of people in need have access to condoms.

The Working Group estimates that annual spending must increase by $4 billion by 2005. UNAIDS (the joint AIDS program run by the United Nations and the World Bank) and the World Health Organization estimate that could avert 29 million new infections by 2010.

Source: David Serwadda (Institute of Public Health at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda), "Beyond Abstinence," Washington Post, May 16, 2003.


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