Are Religious Leaders Frustrating HIV Fight In Bushenyi?


approved geneva; font-size: small;”>The LC5 Chairman Willis Bashaasha told press at the district headquarters on Thursday that district records have shown that more people contracted the disease in 2011 compared to 2010.

case geneva; font-size: small;”>“The Uganda indicators on HIV infections are not good. The situation is very serious in the country and our district. If these projections continue, we are losing the fight,” Bashaasha said.

Due to the high HIV infection rates, Bashaasha has formed an HIV/AIDS task force to draft strategies on how best they can help people in order to stop the spread of the scourge.

He said the government has received different signals from religious leaders on some strategies especially safe male circumcision and condom use.

“We are trying to get religious leaders on board to accept some strategies they have been against. For them they look at it on moral perspective and concentrate on abstinence and faithfulness. If they don’t come on board we shall continue giving contradicting messages,” he said.

Religious leaders in the district have always spoken ill of safe male circumcision, saying the way the message is packaged has encouraged people to go on sex rampage thinking they will not contract HIV.

Bashaasha said that people should know that HIV is still a deadly disease and people should not relax and start engaging themselves in risky behavior.

The District Health Officer Dr. Edward Mwesigye said HIV infection in the district is at 7.2 per cent in 2011 from 6.7 in 2010.

He said there are a number of factors that have led to this which need all strategies to be used.

“Bushenyi district is getting urbanized. There are more boda boda stages coming up and town life styles changing. This can be the reason why the trend of HIV infection is increasing despite the effort we have put in to combat the spread,” Mwesigye said.

He said that people have relaxed with the coming of HIV/AIDS treatment where people no longer see AIDS as a killer but a disease you can live with.

He said that although people are living a quality life than never before, it affects government’s service delivery.

Mwesigye noted that as the district health department, they have been constrained on safe male circumcision because some religious leaders are against it.

He said that their involvement is very important because they deal with the hearts and beliefs of the people.

Scarcity of safe male circumcision gadgets, condoms

Dr. Mwesigye has petitioned government to allocate more funds towards controlling the increasing cases of HIV/AIDS in the district especially for SMC and condom distribution.

He said that despite their efforts to prevent the HIV spread, the district doesn’t have funds to purchase tools to use in preventive strategies.


Header advertisement
To Top