Thursday, August 6, 2020
Home Life Style Health & Fitness Uganda Remembers AIDS Victims by Marking 'International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day'

Uganda Remembers AIDS Victims by Marking ‘International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day’

According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, the country records 50,000 new infections annually, about one-third of them being young people

Uganda is marking International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day with activities to remember the estimated 2 million Ugandans who have died of the disease.

While the government and development partners have increased campaigns for HIV awareness, however, the stigma and discrimination attached to the disease keep many Ugandans fearful from learning of or talking about their HIV status, says those who carry the virus.

Twenty-five-year-old Namanya Martin Paul was born with HIV. Having lost his father to AIDS at the age of 2, he only learned about his status at age 10 when his mother, also HIV positive, was attending antenatal care. His other three siblings were then found to be HIV-positive. Paul was forced to change schools due to discrimination until he made a decision to open up.

“It’s not easy. There’s a particular point in time where a nurse got to know my situation, where I was keeping my medication and she actually, like, made it very open to school,” Paul said. “So, I called for a school parade and told these people, this is who I am. Am living with HIV, am taking my medication. And, you need to support me.”

AIDS
According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, the country records 50,000 new infections annually, about one-third of them being young people. Flickr

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness. According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, the country records 50,000 new infections annually, about one-third of them being young people. Sarah Nakku, the U.N. AIDS community mobilization adviser, says many infected people are careful about revealing their status.

“We do have laws that discriminate against people living with HIV. … That instead of allowing people to come out openly,” Nakku said. “Incidentally, people decide to hide because they do not want to fall victims of the law. We also have schools where discrimination does happen. If you don’t tap into the teachers, this young person cannot be supported to adhere on treatment.”

In 2018, the government launched an initiative that demands every institution, both government and private, address the needs of HIV-positive people as part of its workplace policy.

Dr. Nelson Musoba, director-general of the Uganda AIDS Commission, says that even though the government has set up more effective measures to curb the disease, Ugandans need to be more careful about exposing themselves to HIV.

HIV
School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. VOA

ALSO READ: Missouri Assembly Approves Bill to Prohibit Women from Seeking Abortion

“So, we also have the pre-exposure prophylaxis, which the HIV-negative partner takes to ensure that they remain HIV-negative. There’s research going on, on vaccines, on other treatments, but we need to stay alive for us to benefit from those technologies. We can’t afford to be reckless just because there’s treatment,” Musoba said.

The Ministry of Health says Uganda is close to achieving its “90-90-90” target, set in 2014. The aim is for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent who test positive to enroll in care and treatment, and 90 percent of those in treatment to achieve “viral load suppression” — that is, for the virus to become inactive. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,959FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,781FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Inclusivity: A Matter of Survival for Brands

By Puja Gupta Indian men are becoming increasingly self-aware and skin-care is losing its retrograde 'girly' tag. Men are investing in grooming products and going...

Chromotherapy: Heal Physiological, Psychological Imbalances in the Body Through Colours

By Puja Gupta Colours are part of the natural world and they play a major role in a way we feel and react in various...

Helpless, Desperate Pakistani Hindus Convert to Islam to Overcome Troubles

(Editorial Note- The views expressed in this article have been shared from an article published at The New York Times) The lips of Hindus stumbled...

Priyanka Chopra is Being Extra Cautious During Covid Pandemic

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are being extra cautious during the Covid pandemic. Priyanka opened up on how the couple is coping during the global...

Smoking Linked to Higher Risk of Bone Fracture

Smoking has been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture, but researchers have now identified certain lung-related factors -- such as smoking or...

Gajraj Rao: OTT is Playing Good, Important Role for Content-Driven Films

Actor Gajraj Rao feels the web has emerged as an important platform for content-driven shows and films but to get the right impact for...

Microsoft Announces New Platform to Help Indian Firms Return to Work

Microsoft on Thursday announced the general availability of its Power Platform Return to the Workplace solution in India to help organisations prepare for the...

NYC Celebrates Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan Despite Ban on Video Display

By Arul Louis Hindus and their supporters in New York City celebrated the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, ignoring...

Recent Comments