Vasta Kibirige, coordinator of the condom unit in Uganda's Ministry of Health, told attendees at a three-day HIV conference in Kampala that the country will need to import 80 million condoms in 2003 to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus among the nation's 24.6 million people.
"The demand for condoms is growing worldwide since they play a central role in HIV prevention, and Uganda is no exception," said Cris Baryomusi, an HIV specialist at the conference. "The epidemic is highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is estimated that three condoms are used per man per year."
Health officials in Uganda estimate that about 1 million Ugandans have died of AIDS-related causes during the past 20 years. About 5% of the country's population is infected with HIV.