AIDS is pandemic in many African countries but in Uganda, the proportion of the population who are HIV positive has fallen by nearly half in the 16 to 40 age group in the past 15 years.
It is not often that we hear good news about this deadly pandemic which has claimed millions of lives worldwide and is still pandemic in many African countries.
But in Uganda the rate of new infection among 16 to 40 year olds is now estimated to be 2.9 percent.
Twelve years ago Sr Miriam Duggan, an Irish Franciscan doctor, spoke at the National Charismatic Conference in Nelson of her work in Uganda.
Sr Miriam spent 30 years in Uganda, following years of devastation by war during the rule of Idi Amin when the country was plunged into an overwhelming AIDs problem.
As a Christian, Sr Miriam believes that the Church had much to offer in combating HIV/AIDS.
The sisters pressed for a policy of honesty about the problem and courage to work for long-term solutions.
With the active support of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, a strategy of care for the dying and orphans, including education, behaviour change programmes, and ‘youth alive’ clubs was established to encourage young people to refrain from risky sexual behaviour and to practise faithfulness within marriage.
Sr Miriam will be in Wellington for a holiday with her family in Heretaunga parish following conferences in Australia.
She will speak about her work in Uganda at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Monday 26 September at 7.30pm.
Come – you are welcome.