From: Rene LAKE <email@example.com>
Science & Health Bulletin: Uganda-Aids
Slight Drop in Uganda's Seropositivity
Panafrican News Agency, 3 November 1995
DAKAR, Senegal (PANA) - A slight decline was observed between 1989 and 1994 in the spread of the AIDS-causing Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV type 1) in Uganda's rural areas, according to a recent report received here.
Earlier reports had indicated that at least 10 per cent of that country's population of about 20 million was infected with the HIV.
The report, based on a study conducted by Ugandan and British researchers, said the reduction was particularly noticed among young adults aged above 13.
The study, published in a recent British Medical Journal was based on five rounds of voluntary HIV tests conducted on 4,200 youths living in 15 villages by Jane Kengeya- Kayondo of the Enetebbe Virological Centre and her foreign colleagues.
The researchers discovered the among people aged above 13, seropositivity dropped from 8.2 per cent in 1990 to 7.6 per cent four years later.
The most significant decline was among girls aged between 13 and 19 years and among men in the 20 to 24 years age group.
Seropositivity among the first group fell from 4.5 per cent in 1989 to 2.5 per cent in 1994. Among the men's group, the drop was even higher, from 11.8 per cent to 2.7 per cent, the report indicated.
The researchers found that the prevalence rate remained stable in the 20 to 24 year women age group and men in the 25 to 34 years age bracket, with around 20 per cent seropositivity.
The scientists deduced that human intervention and people's awareness that they were being followed up could have contributed to the decline in seropositivity.
The study and the fact that it was carried out amid mounting AIDS-related deaths in the villages could have played a major role in pushing down HIV infections.
Accompanying measures introduced during the study included the recruitment of health auxilliaries who gave advise to the groups being investigated and provided preventive means.
The medical journal's conclusion was that it is too early to say that the epidemic was declining.It added, however, that the positive results encouraged the continuation of additional steps to deal with AIDS.
-0- PANA NS/IS/PBM 1Nov95