What you need to know:
- A Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) study under the East African Point of Care HIV Viral Load Monitoring Project established that people aged below 24 still have a high viral load ranging between 65-75 percent.
Young people living with HIV/AIDS have spoken out on the escalating cases of the viral disease amongst youths in the country.
Speaking a day before the annual December 1 World Aids Day, one of the youths living with HIV identified as Jonathan Mubiru encouraged victims of the disease to adhere to prescription.
“Most young people don’t know why they take ARVs. Others take the drugs thinking they are helping their family members, youths want to test (try) saying if I don’t take drugs what will happen, forgetting that the outcome of this can lead to trouble and harm,’’ he warned on November 30.
Mubiru also urged young people to be open to one another regarding their status in a bid to tame disease spread especially through sex.
“I also call upon government to involve more youths living with HIV in their counseling programs so that they are able to counsel fellow youngsters who fear to be open about their HIV status,” he added.
‘Today it’s me, somebody else tomorrow’
Mubiru was delivering his thoughts at a symposium for youths living with HIV/AIDS at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.
“I accepted my HIV status and life has been smooth. You don’t have to fear your fellow human being because today it’s me, tomorrow it’s another person. Whether I’m in a taxi or anywhere else, I do not fear anyone while taking my drugs. I’m proud to say that I have lived with HIV for 30 years,” he told the gathering.
Speaking at the same event, 28-year-old HIV victim Ruth Nassali advised youth living with HIV to “avoid alcohol and narcotic drugs.”
Another youth living with HIV, Edbert Tumutereize, observed that most young people tend to imagine that they know a lot, yet they lack information about AIDS.
“I feel that is where we need to start from. Students stop at knowing that HIV is a virus, but they don’t know what comes after if they have it,” said the 28-year-old who works with The Aids Support Organization (TASO).
A Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) study under the East African Point of Care HIV Viral Load Monitoring Project established that people aged below 24 still have a high viral load ranging between 65-75 percent.