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The committee will help to advocate for prosecutors who declare their HIV/AIDS status so that they are deployed in a friendly environment.

Speaking during the commemoration of HIV/AIDS day in Nakawa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Mike Chibita pleaded to his staff to know their status by taking an HIV /AIDS test.

?I appeal to my staff to test for HIV/AIDS and get more information about the disease. If you test and find yourself positive, get the medication and if you are negative be careful,? Chibita said.

The chairperson of the committee Carolyn Nabassa said; they are trying to have a comprehensive policy to cover all issues on HIV/AIDS within the directorate.

?The policy is going to streamline HIV/AIDS issues in DPP, it will help the prosecutors understand that they can be HIV positive but they are not discriminated against. The policy stresses issues of confidentiality, zero tolerance to stigma and nondiscrimination,? she explained.

?We have had a policy but it was so brief, so we are trying to align our policy with other national policies that are dealing with this situation,? Nabassa added.

Currently the National HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is at 7.3 percent. A total of 135,000 new infections are registered annually, with children accounting for 30,000 and 700,000 being women.

According to a progress report ?Millennium Development Goals Report for Uganda 2013?, the share of the population with advanced HIV receiving ART increased from 44% in 2008 to 54% (2009), 50% (2010) and 62% in 2012.

Ministry of health statistics shows that Uganda has 1.2 million people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLHA), while 577,000 of them are in need of ART, only 310,000 access treatment.

The Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) estimates that 37% of new infections are among persons reporting multiple sexual partnerships, 35% occur within discordant monogamous couples, 18% are due to Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) while 9% arise from commercial sex networks.

By Violet Nabatanzi, The New Vision

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