20 percent of HIV-positive Population Not Aware of Status- Study

20 percent of the HIV-positive population between 15-49 years of age do not know their status. The finding came from a Uganda Population Based Impact Assessment which indicated that in every 5 Ugandans, there is one HIV- positive individual unaware of their status.

While HIV eradication advances to the 2030 target unit, young adolescents have been found at risk of raising infection. This is with young people accounting for more than 27 percent of new infections.

Dr. Andrew Kambugu, the Executive Director Infectious Disease Institute at Makerere noted that this situation should concern everyone since these people can unknowingly infect their loved ones.

‘My country men we should not take it for granted that we have ARVs, I remember as a young daughter looking people in the eyes telling them you are positive but I can do nothing to help you. We should not take it for granted that you can now take a pill every day and look healthy.”

Dr. Kambugu is worried that while scientists are working on a cure, it is still some time before it can be finalized and yet new infections are still high.

Monitoring and Evaluations UNAIDS Coordinator, Micheal Okot raised concern for women whose numbers for new infections still rate high. While new infections in 2022 were found among 30,000 women from the age of 15, among men of the same age came 15,000 new infections.

Dr. Lugolobi Mathias the District Health Officer for Wakiso noted that some of the barriers to accessing HIV health care is ineffective counseling. According to him from experience, the community has still stigmatized people that seek HIV health care through gossip against any suspects.

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Lugolobi mentioned that there is a need to create more safe spaces for Ugandans to access HIV care.

“We have all been to health facilities outpatient section, a client comes in, after three minutes you will hear murmurs outside.”

However other members working with community led interventions on HIV pointed out that some patients are stubborn and except to always receive incentives from accessing health care, this is a barrier because where there is no incentive they do not show up.

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