The Ministry of Health has included house maids on the list of most at risk population in the spread of HIV/Aids. With a seven per cent prevalence rate, housemaids are feared to get infected and spread the virus at almost the same rate with prostitutes and fish mongers.
According to junior Health minister (General Duties) Elioda Tumwesigye, the sexual network arising from housemaids is among the largest while their vulnerability puts the whole network at risk.
“A housemaid may have sexual intercourse with the owner of the house, the male child, the home guard, the Shamba boy, the delivery boy and even neighbouring men, sometimes they have no power to dictate the use of condoms especially with their bosses,” Dr Tumwesigye told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre.
Due to the nature of their jobs and lack of sensitisation, housemaids are also believed to be reluctant in seeking for medical help as well as finding out their status.
The most recent UN Aids report indicates that Uganda is losing the fight against Aids given the increased prevalence rate, a fact the government blames on the reluctance of the population due to the presence of ARVs and low sensitisation on behavioural change as a tool against the virus.
“The population has changed its mentality against the fight since they now know they can live with HIV/Aids,” said Dr Jane Aceng, the Director General Health Services.