Kibaale- Health officials and politicians are worried by the high rate of HIV infections in Kibaale District, The Daily Monitor reports. The district health officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, said last Friday the HIV prevalence in Kibaale is at 10 per cent. He said it was at 5 per cent three years ago but has now surpassed the national prevalence rate of 7.1 per cent.Dr Kyamanywa was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting convened at Kibaale Resort Hotel to look for new strategies to counter the Aids scourge.
According to Dr Kyamanywa, Kagadi Town has the highest HIV infection rate followed by Muhorro and Kakumiro town councils.Kyaterekera Town Board, Ndaiga Sub-county at the Lake Albert shoreline, Igayaza and Kakindo towns are the other areas hit by the scourge.The medic said the high infections are related to oil and gas fortunes and related businesses that are attracting many people to the area.
“Commercial sex workers, increased long distance truck drivers, the presence of landing sites around Lake Albert, alcoholism and the influx of people into the area have turned detrimental to the (hitherto) healthy population in Kibaale with many people contracting the deadly HIV,” Dr Kyamanywa said.Kibaale District HIV/Aids focal person, Mr Edward Balimwijuka, said atleast 12 people contract the virus in Kibaale everyday.
The health inspector in charge of greater Bugangaizi, Mr Simpson Mweru, said people have failed to heed advice on avoiding unsafe sex.He faults them for not using free HIV/Aids screening services in government health facilities.“The problem with people is that they are using their physical eyes to test people with whom they have sexual relationships yet there are government health facilities where they can go and get tested free of charge,” he said.
Mr Balimwijuka added: “The moment someone sees a person they are attracted to looking healthy, they think they are HIV negative. This misconception has messed up people’s life in the district.”Kibaale District health secretary Stephen Nfashingabo, who is also the district vice chairperson, asked health workers and other stakeholders to promote the use of the ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful and Condom use) strategy.