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New Lukaya clinic to fight HIV

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Minister for Karamoja Affairs Janet Kataha Museveni commissions the new  HIV clinic at Lukaya Town Council on Friday.

Minister for Karamoja Affairs Janet Kataha Museveni commissions the new HIV clinic at Lukaya Town Council on Friday. PHOTO BY MARTIN SSEBUYIRA 

By Michael J Ssali & Martin Ssebuyira

Posted  Monday, January 21  2013 at  02:45

In Summary

Health. The facility will help sex workers and their partners access free condoms and HIV testing and counselling.

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A new Aids clinic has been opened at Lukaya Town in Kalungu District on Kampala-Masaka highway to fight the high HIV prevalence rate in the area.

The Shs6 billion facility, which also has a business centre, was built by Uganda Cares, a local NGO, with funding from the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in the US.

Dr Penninah Iutung Amor, the AHF Africa Bureau Chief, said the clinic is located at Lukaya because it is a stopover for truck drivers with an HIV prevalence rate of 27 per cent higher than the national average of 7.3 per cent.

Ms Amor said the clinic’s new Moonlight Testing Programme will make it easier for sex workers and their partners to access free condoms and HIV testing and counselling.

The First Lady, Ms Janet Kataha Museveni, who commissioned the clinic last Friday, said some people had developed a general complacence towards HIV because of anti-retroviral treatment.

“Some people have made the HIV/Aids battle a mockery, saying the disease is like malaria, an attitude that leaders at all levels should fight,” Ms Museveni said.

Dr David Kihumuro Apuuli, the director general of the Uganda Aids Commission, said a recent survey on safe male circumcision revealed that many people do it for sexual pleasure instead of preventing HIV.

“I think the messages designed are not properly reaching the people. We have just concluded signing a new message box to be distributed to all communities to rekindle the efforts in the fight against HIV,” Mr Apuuli said.

Dr Amor said the clinic has comfortable amenities and will be used for community outreaches.

She also said the commercial complex has space for restaurants, banking halls, conference rooms among others for renting so that the is revenue re-invested.

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