Rakai HIV/AIDS Prevalence Drops To 12.6%

1761 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
According to district health officials, HIV/Aids prevalence rate in the district now stands at 12.6 percent from 13.2 percent in 2014.

Rakai district is registering improvement in its fight against HIV/AIDS. According to district health officials, the HIV/Aids prevalence rate in the district now stands at 12.6 percent from 13.2 percent in 2014. Records at the district also show that 31, 123 people have tested for HIV/AIDS in the entire district.
Dr. Raseo Muhangi, the Assistant Rakai District Health Officer, attributes the fall to the collaboration between government and Non-Government organisations - NGOs operating that render additional health and counseling services to residents. He says organisations such as Rakai Healthy Sciences Programme (RHSP), KITOVU Mobile, Rakai Aids Information Network (RAIN), World Division and Community Initiative for Prevention of Aids among others have done a commendable job.
Muhangi however observes that HIV prevalence is still high at Kasensero, Lukunyu and others land sites around Lake Kijjanabarora and Lake Victoria, Mutukula and Kyotera town council. According to Muhangi, the prevalence is high among married couples, commercial sexual workers, truck drivers and fisher men of all the categories.
Eddie Mirego, the Director of Rakai Aids Information Network (RAIN), links the high HIV/Aids prevalence in the district to poverty, lack of care for adolescents, domestic disputes and divorce among others. He says AIDS has become a common disease among fishermen, who claim they are more afraid of the lake than HIV/AIDS.  

Mirego says there is need to devise new strategies to empower youths and adolescents in the fight against the scourge. He says bringing on all stakeholders including commercial sex workers and People Leaving with HIV/AIDS - PLWHA, will steady reduce the HIV prevalence in the district. Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, Fred Bikande Kagimu, an HIV/AIDs activist, says the HIV prevalence in the district has remained high because those who test positive don't have any visible signs of the disease.

He appeals to politicians; religious/faith leaders to continue preaching to their flock about the dangers of HIV/AIDS in order to reduce its prevalence further. As of 2013, the estimated HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 to 49 stood at 7.4%. Rakai was the first district to register the first HIV/AIDS victim in Uganda in the 1980s. Dozens of people died due to lack of proper medication, counseling and ignorance.


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