60 per cent of Bwaise sex workers have HIV - report
Posted Monday, March 18 2013 at 02:00
Findings by Uganda Youth Welfare Services say of 120 sex workers tested, 80 were found to be HIV positive.
A research by a local NGO has revealed that most commercial sex workers in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, are living with HIV/Aids.
The findings originate from a one-year pilot project conducted by Uganda Youth Welfare Services (UYWS) that engaged 120 sex workers in vocational skills training. According to the UYWS team leader, Mr Roger Ssemwanga, the sex workers were subjected to an HIV test, of whom 80 were found to be positive.
“We have been equipping sex workers with skills in catering, hair dressing, baking and tailoring, among others. We also tested them for HIV/Aids to establish how best to support them. Out of the 120 tested, 80 are positive,” Mr Ssemwanga said this on Friday, while hosting Plan UK chief executive officer Tanya Barron at the project’s offices in Bwaise.
Citing some of the challenges the NGO encounters in reforming the former sex workers, Mr Ssemwanga said: “Most of those who are negative vow not to go back to sex trade but out of 10, you find about four are tempted to backslide”.
The findings come against the backdrop of concerns over the rapid spread of the virus in the country. National figures indicate that 37 per cent of sex workers have HIV/Aids.
The former sex workers requested for start-up capital to start their own businesses. Ms Barron promised to mobilise funds for the reformed women.