Limited support for key populations undermines Ugandan HIV control

Published: October 16, 2014

IRIN
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KAMPALA, 16 October 2014 (IRIN) – Uganda’s HIV/AIDS control efforts have been undermined by a lack of consensus and clarity over which people constitute Key Populations (KPs) to be targeted in various prevention, care and treatment efforts, say experts.

There is no consensus on the definitions of, and who to include as, KPs, with activists noting that the lack of clarity on KPs at policy level has an adverse impact on HIV prevention, care and treatment.

“The fight against HIV-AIDS will continue to be jeopardized if marginalized groups are not well defined and included in the fight against HIV/AIDS, yet we all agree that [these] are the highest drivers of HIV,” said Moses Kimbugwe, the advocacy and programme director with Spectrum Uganda, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) advocacy organization.

According to studies, the most at-risk populations (MARPs) in Uganda, who account for HIV prevalence rates often more than double the national average, include fisher folk, transactional sex workers and their partners, men who have sex with men (MSM) and men in uniformed services. The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS uses the term “key populations" to describe these groups.

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