Skyrocketing Uganda HIV Rates Shock Health Experts


dosage geneva;”>The alarming results were tabled before legislators at a dialogue organized by the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS to address the resurgence of the pandemic in Kampala November 26.

erectile geneva;”>Dr. Joshua Musinguzi the Programme Manager of the AIDS Control Programme in the Ministry of Health said the recent statistics indicate a reversal in the gains the country had attained during the last three decades.

He confirmed that the HIV/AIDS burden stood at 1.3 million people with 145,294 new infections recorded in 2011. Uganda lost 62,365 people to HIV/AIDS in 2011 according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Research conducted by Global Health Action in 2010 showed that majority of students at the prestigious Mbarara University of Science and Technology in southwestern Uganda were “sexually active.”

“1,179 students (60.3% of the study population) reported that they were sexually active,” the organisation reported in their findings.

Of these, 199 (18.6%) did not use contraception in their last sexual encounter. Students currently not in a relationship had higher odds of non-use of contraception (odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.2–2.7).

The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between non-use of contraception and socio-demographic factors, alcohol consumption, and types of partner(s) among Ugandan university students.

In 2010, 1,954 students at the campus participated in a cross-sectional study whereby a self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic factors, alcohol consumption, and sexual behaviour including the use of contraceptives.

More than half of the world’s population is less than 25 years old and approximately 85% of this demographic segment lives in low- or middle-income countries.

The sexual behaviour of such young people has become a crucial social and public health concern, especially with regard to unintended pregnancies.

Attending the 5th Joint AIDS Review/7th Partnership Forum Conference at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala in October Ethics and Integrity, Minister Simon Lokodo, said government had increased its contribution in the HIV/AIDS response to $65 US dollars in the financial year 2012.

He further said government would add more 100,000 HIV patients on the service of ARV’S so as lives of Ugandans are not left to perish.

Prof. Vinand Nantulya, Chairman Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) also recently called upon leaders at all levels to play their role in sensitizing HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

“I urge cultural, religious and political leaders to get back in the field because there is a new HIV battle that has increased the rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda,” he said.

“We need to strengthen the health systems in Uganda by focusing on all the districts especially the remote villages where there is still a high rate of HIV/AIDS,” he added on.

Shocking findings

It is estimated that 41% of all pregnancies globally are unintended and 39% occur in Africa.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is 1:22 in sub-Saharan Africa, with adolescents facing a higher risk of morbidity and mortality than older women.

The bio-social gap, explained as the early onset of puberty and increasing age of marriage, has widened in most low-income countries.

This has led to an increase in pre-marital sexual activity, which exposes vulnerable youth to the risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STI).

“Pre-marital sexual activity seems to be increasing among university students in Asia and Africa as a result of many factors, such as rapid urbanisation and exposure to mass media (5–8),” said Global Health Action.

“Nearly half of Uganda’s inhabitants are below the age of 15, and 20% are between 15 and 25 (9). Poor mental health, sexual coercion, low trust in others, and increased university enrolment are associated with risky sexual behaviour among university students (10–12).” Non-regular partners, unprotected sex, and cross-generational sex among university students were reported for this group in a recent study.


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