Dr. Etukoit said that recent experiences from ongoing work show better yields in identifying people living with HIV in their population segments and linking them into care and involvement in prevention of HIV infection by focusing on key populations and high burden areas. “Building on our experiences we shall, going forward focus our effort, expert and resources on key population and geographical programming to accelerate the response to end HIV epidemic” He added that TASO is on the right course in its contribution to the attainment of the global targets with 93% of the client under its care enrolled on sustained ART and with a similar percentage among them having their viral load suppressed. The global audience with the stewardship of UNAIDS concur that when these targets are achieved at the level of 90% then we should be ending HIV epidemic by 2030. Key Population according to PEPFAR definition include Sex Workers with HIV prevalence rates of 35-37%, Injection drug users and Men who have sex with Men (MSM) . Other partnerships also include; fisher Folks, Long truck drivers, Uniformed personnel and adolescent girls among the key populations.
Asked why the American government should continue meeting the bills for the Uganda response, TASO ED said the need for continued investment is clearly evident in the ever improving quality of lives of people living with HIV, the national health care system and more so the recent gains that are pointing to our getting close to ending the HIV epidemic such as in the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV interventions. He added that sustained partnerships will certainly deliver us to a world without HIV, which is the TASO vision and we should not at this point release the grip we have in our partnership to complete the job we set out to achieve. TASO is largely a donor supported organisation with most of the funding from US government under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through CDC and USAID