Tuesday October 1 2013

Kawempe tops Kampala’s HIV hotspots- report

By Agatha Ayebazibwe


Kawempe Division has the highest number of commercial sex spots which are driving the HIV scourge in Kampala, a new report says. The report notes that Kawempe has 61 such spots followed by Rubaga Division with 56, Central Division has 55, Makindye 52, while Nakawa Division is last with 44. Kampala District has five divisions.

Most clients married
The hot spots are areas with populations at high risk of contracting HIV and host vulnerable groups like male and female sex workers, men who have sex with fellow men, long-distance truck drivers and people engaged in fishing.

The study conducted by the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/Aids in Africa, an NGO, and Kampala Capital City Authority, identified a total of 268 hot spots in the city. The study found that of the 2,148 female sex workers in Kampala, 787 of them are in Kawempe Division, 515 in Central, 492 in Rubaga, 347 in Makindye and 200 in Nakawa. Female sex workers, according to the report, are concentrated in Kisenyi in Central Division, Industrial area and Kabalagala in Makindye, and in Kimombasa in Kawempe.

The study also indicates that there are 45 spots hosting male sexual workers and men who have sex with men. Out of the 253 men who confessed working as sexual workers, 106 are from Kawempe Division, 76 from Central, 70 from Rubaga, 51 from Makindye and 18 in Nakawa. A total of 21 per cent of sex workers confessed to sleeping with married men, re-confirming the earlier studies that indicated that married men are the biggest clientele for sex workers.

Preventive measures
The researchers recommend that since the places where most sexual activities have been highlighted, more protective devices such as male and female condoms should be made available to prevent new infections.
According to the 2011 HIV indicator survey, HIV/Aids prevalence among sex workers is six times more than the prevalence among the general population.

Prof Vinand Nantulya, the chairperson of the Uganda Aids Commission, said the prevalence of HIV among sex workers is between 27 and 30 per cent while commercial sex workers are responsible for more than 10 per cent of new infections every year.
Whereas the national prevalence of HIV stands at 7.3 per cent, Kampala is at 7.1 per cent. Dr Daniel Okello, an official at KCCA, said the findings will guide in planning interventions, especially for the high risk groups.