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Uganda Works to Reduce AIDS Cases

Since the 1980s, Uganda has been combatting the spread of AIDS and encouraging community support groups to help fight further developments.

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  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO, Correspondent, Twin Cities Public Television:

    It's a painfully familiar story across Africa. Fatuma Namata struggles each day to feed the household she heads of 10 children; four are orphans of her two sisters who died of AIDS. She, too, is HIV-positive.

    Yet unlike most other Africans, Ugandans like this family live with less stigma from AIDS and more hope. For example, although two of Namata's children are HIV-positive, both receive the once prohibitively costly antiretroviral drugs.

  • FATUMA NAMATA (through translator):

    They are aware. They understand about HIV and AIDS, and in the future they're hoping that maybe there will be a cure. In fact, the younger one expects to grow up. He wants to be a pilot.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Uganda had Africa's earliest campaigns to urge love and support for those in need. In the 1980s, when most African governments seemed in denial, Ugandans readily acknowledged the AIDS epidemic and encouraged programs to deal with it, including a network of community support groups called TASO.

    Through dance and drama groups, TASO taught how HIV is and is not spread. They also helped launch a unique prevention campaign called ABC. It was described in this 1995 interview by TASO's founder, Noerine Kaleeba.