Uganda, as the rest of the world on 8th March honors International Women’s Day to reflect on the journey we have moved to recognize the critical role of women in realising a fairer world. Our reflection on the day will not be complete without us appreciating the intricate lives and livelihoods of Women Living with HIV.

The HIV epidemic in Uganda continues to disproportionately affect women and thereby hindering progress in the attainment of gender parity and development goals. These are the hard facts; HIV prevalence is higher in women than for men, there are more new HIV infections in women than in men with the number much higher in young women aged between 15 and 24 years than young men in the same age bracket; the burden of care at family and community squarely rests on women. Related issues to these facts include gender-based violence (including sexual abuse), lack of access to information and education, health services, social protection and productive resources to cope with these unfortunate inequities and injustices.

In 2016 leaders across the world pledged to take action as champions of gender parity. Various institutions, groups and individuals also pledged their support and in Uganda, our current leadership slogan is ‘steady progress’.  These commitments will only make meaning if we are bold for change and care for Women Living with HIV in our conversations and practical actions. We should thus interest ourselves on causes and dynamics of delayed access, uptake and retention of women in HIV prevention, care and treatment and other health care as well as socio-economic development interventions. 

Since inception, TASO has maintained its mission of contributing to the process of preventing HIV infection, restoring hope and improving the quality of life of persons, families and communities affected by HIV and disease.  Women remain an important segment of the population in the TASO response. Over the period, TASO has supported a network of over 100 community based initiatives with over 6,000 volunteers who are mobilizing citizens and engaging with leadership in the HIV and AIDS response and challenging practices that are harmful to the dignity and wellbeing of women. 

The TASO Community-led practice models have been documented as one of the most successful approaches to community mobilization and response in Uganda. These models contributed greatly to the development of Uganda’s Village Health Team (VHT) strategy. These models promote individual and group participation and encourage adoption and sustenance of positive behavior change that enhances the wellbeing of women.

We recognize the growing informality of labour, insecure livelihoods and incomes as well as judgmental clauses in our laws, continue to constrain women’s empowerment at family, community and national level. It is thus important to recognize women’s unpaid care labour, domestic work and addressing the gender gaps in resource ownership, leadership and entrepreneurship.  Access to quality health care services including HIV prevention, care and treatment is a must for us to ensure attainment of universal health and development goals, including ending of the HIV epidemic. Our policies and practices must demonstrate overwhelming support and protection for women in the households, community, informal economy and other work places to better harness their potential to make this world a better place to live in.

The empowerment of women should not be limited to education for all and small handouts but to transcend every aspect of human life and development including access and control of productive resources. It must involve saving and protecting life of the person of a woman and girl child from health challenges including HIV and AIDS. The country and world needs them alive and healthy so that they can make the best of their potential in transforming the world into a better place. Let us all therefore support every Women Living with HIV and we shall accelerate the end of the HIV epidemic and attainment of the sustainable development goals.

TASO greatly appreciates all the partners, subscriber members and friends who have supported us in our work over the past years. We count on you all joining hands to continue with the journey so we can soon celebrate gender parity and a world without HIV and AIDS

Wishing us all a happy International Women’s Day

TASO Highlights

STRENGTHENING THE HIV RESPONSE IN KARAMOJA THROUGH INDEGINOUS ORGANISATIONS

The Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda, William Carlos, this morning (Tuesday 26 March 2019) handed over an all terrain vehicle to TASO for the PACK Project. The Prevention of HIV & AIDS in the Communities of Karamoja (PACK) is a project management by a consortium of indeginous organisations which are Straight Talk, National Forum of People Living with HIV & AIDS Newtworks, Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa - Uganda Chapter and TASO.

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COMMEMORATION OF CHRISTOPHER KALEEBA DAY - 2019

The Christopher Kaleeba day was commemorated on 23rd January at his ancestral home in Ziru, along Entebbe Road. The commemoration began with Mass led Fr Ssebayigga, a long time serving Center Advisory Committee member of TASO Entebbe. In his sermon, Fr. Ssebayigga urged everyone to live an exemplary life so that they too can be remembered just as Christopher Kaleeba is remembered in TASO. Joining the family in Ziru was the team from TASO Entebbe. 

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TASO AND PARTNERS PUT UP EXHIBITION ON HISTORY OF HIV IN UGANDA

On 1st December 2018 - World AIDS Day , TASO together with the Ugandan Academy and Uganda AIDS Commission unveiled an exhibition on the History of HIV in Uganda at the Uganda Museum. The six months (June to December) project was funded by the Embassy of Ireland which hosted guests to a launch on 28 November 2018. The exhibition attracted over 2,000 visitors both national and international. Alongside the exhibition was a HIV Testing booth where the TASO Mulago team screened over 900 people for HIV. 

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CDC COUNTRY DIRECTOR VISITS SOROTI REGIONAL PROJECT

In February TASO's flagship project in Soroti hosted the CDC Country Director - Dr. Lisa Nelson. Under the new regionalisation strategy, TASO is in charge of PEPFAR Implementing Partners within the Teso Region. 

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DR. PETER PIOT LEADS TEAM FROM LSHTM TO VISIT TASO

Dr. Peter Piot led a team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM - London, Gambia, South Africa and Uganda) to visit TASO Headquarters on February 3, 2019. There were several reasons for the visit some of which are;

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