HIV-positive People In Kibaale Call For Govt Help

3131 Views Kibaale, Uganda

In short
In Kibaale, among 10,175 people who tested between the months of October and December last year, 651 males were found positive, putting their prevalence rate at 6.5% while 529 females or 5.2% were found positive.

People living with HIV and Aids in Kibaale district are complaining about the government failure to support them economically, a thing that they say has seen left their families in abject poverty.  
 
During the belated commemoration of the World Aids Day in the district at Bujuni play grounds in Thursday, HIV-positive people stressed a need for the government to support them in starting income generating projects to enable them raise funds for managing their conditions.
 
Gertrude Kabatambuzi, an HIV positive patient is accused district leaders for failing to include them in government programs such as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).
 
Leonard Mbeeta, who says he has been living with Aids for close to ten years, wants the government to start support groups for HIV Positive people in the district in a bid to uplift their living standards.
 
Speaking during the same function which was celebrated under the theme: ‘’Accelerating HIV prevention for zero new infections,’’Dr Dan Kyamanywa, the Kibaale district Health officer, revealed that the rate at which the HIV virus is spreading in the district is alarming and needs a concerted effort to combat it.
 
Kyamanywa explained that in Kibaale, among 10,175 people who tested between the months of October and December last year, 651 males were found positive, putting their prevalence rate at 6.5% while 529 females or 5.2% were found positive.
 
The national prevalence rate is currently standing at 7.3 %.
 
He also adds that the prevalence is also escalating in pregnant mothers at 3.9%.
 
Kyamanywa also revealed that of the 13,408 people infected with the virus, only 3,931 are getting the antiretroviral treatment.  
 
He attributes the trend to reckless unprotected sexual behaiviors, negative attitude towards HIV prevention measures, and cultural beliefs among others.
 
He stressed the need for local leaders at all levels to strengthen their commitment in controlling and preventing the HIV prevalence rate.
 
Steven Nfashingabo, the Kibaale district secretary for Health and Education, noted that people in the area have a mentality that once one is circumcised, he or she cannot contract the virus, something which he says needs massive sensitization of the people in order to discourage it.
 
Currently, the government of Uganda is promoting mass male circumcision as a way of checking the spread of the virus. Health experts say that circumcision can reduce the rate of infection by about 60%.