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Ugandan HIV/AIDS Rate Higher Than Thought-NGO

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The rate of HIV/AIDS cases in Uganda, a country widely praised for its fight against the disease, may be nearly three times as high as official figures suggest, according to an NGO that works with HIV/AIDS sufferers.

The National Guidance and Empowerment Network (NGEN) used a network of people living with the disease to conduct interviews in villages across the east African country, once seen as the epicenter of HIV/AIDS.It said it calculated the national prevalence at almost three times higher than the official rate of six percent.”We found that actually the prevalence at this time is 17 percent,” NGEN founder Rubaramira Ruranga told reporters.Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has won several awards and international acclaim for reducing the infection rate from about 30 percent in the early 1990s.According to official figures, some 1.2 million Ugandans still carry the HIV virus, particularly in the north of the country which has been wracked by an 18-year-old civil war.Elizabeth Nagamala, a doctor at the Ugandan health ministry’s AIDS Control Program, told the news conference the government’s research was more scientific than NGEN’s.”We do not only count patients, we test patients,” she said. “Not everyone who is sick actually has HIV, and not everyone who has HIV is sick.” (Source: Reuters, Sept 2004)

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Posted On: 24 September, 2004
Modified On: 4 December, 2013

Created by: myVMC