todayOctober 11, 2023

By Kaleb Yikii


Involvement of already HIV Positive persons in fighting the Disease has been identified as one of the factors that will lead to considerable reduction of new infection by 2030.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were initially recognized in Uganda in 1982 as “slim disease.” Over 100,000 people died annually as a result of HIV AIDS but reduced to 28,000 thousand by 2017; since President Yoweri Museveni pioneered a high level political leadership on the HIV aids Reduction in the Country.

This compounded with the rapidly expanding HIV Treatment and modern innovations in the health Sector, the Number of AIDS related deaths in Uganda fell from 51,000 in 2010 to 17,000 in 2021.

According to 2020 Uganda population based HIV impacts assessments report, while the HIV prevalence in west Nile stands at 2.8% a reduction from 3.1% from the previous years, the West Nile Districts have Varying Prevalence Rates.

Arua District with the City Combined, lead the region with HIV Prevalence rate of 4.0%, Followed by Pakwach district at 3.2%, Zombo 3.0%, Nebbi 2.9%, Adjumani 2.8%, Moyo 2.5%, Madi Okollo 2.0%, Obongi and Koboko 1.8%, Maracha 1.1% and Yumbe District has the Least HIV Prevalence in West Nile at  0.9%.

Basing on the high level of prevalence on HIV/AIDS in Arua City and District at 4.0%, PICOT Uganda trained advocates For Malaria, HIV /AIDS and Tuberculosis prevention.

Marry Gutruoma is a cultural leader from Lugbara Kari, a retired nurse and counselor. In here experience on how they used to help HIV positive persons before ARV drugs were introduced in Uganda she recalls that there were no ARVs those days. “You would listen the whole time to that client, because the client might have taken long time to make that decision of coming to you so you are still new to that person, the person will fear to talk to you but you create good environment for this person to talk out.” She recalls.

Emmanuel Abiti, a clinical officer at Arua Police health Center III in Arua City Explains why HIV aids prevalence is high among females than Men in Uganda in that, majorly it is economic, because, women are economically dependent as they try to address there economic differences, they address it through unhealthy sexual health behaviors. “The aspect of their population, you know when we are calculating prevalence we don’t normally consider also that women are more populated than men in Uganda here, then for that reason, partly you could say that, because they are more, so you will find that have more number that appears in our data base than men.” He explains.

Ismail Magara, an environmental health officer, working with Arua police health center 3, while facilitating a three days Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Leprosy advocates Training elaborates about how West Nile as a region can achieve the strategic plan to cut down the high HIV prevalence by 2025.
Among the Key outcomes expected by 2025 in the HIV strategic Plan include Prevention, Care and treatment, social support and protection and systems strengthening.

Arua City Health Department mobilized participants for a three days training with support from PICOT to train advocates with different backgrounds to help raise awareness including Councilors, Cultural Leaders Religious Leaders, Media, Academia, local artists, persons leaving with disabilities and registered herbalists.

Mahfus Baguma, the Vector Control Officer and the Malaria Focal Person for Arua City say the main aim of the training is to empower the participants with relevant knowledge on the three deadly diseases Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Leprosy so that they continuously engage the communities in Arua City and beyond to establish Malaria Smart Houses, adhere to treatment guidelines and medication.

COVER PHOTO: Emmanuel Abiti explaining reasons for High HIV-AIDS Prevalence in Women By Kaleb Yikii

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