Cross-generational sex blamed for Aids surge amongst students

Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) chairperson Eddie Mukooyo gestures as he addresses students at Kyambogo University in Kampala on September 20, 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Authorities have blamed cross generational and transactional sex for the “worrying surge” in Aids amongst students in tertiary institutions.

The Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) has moved the fight against HIV/Aids to students in higher institutions of learning, saying “the students’ age group is most vulnerable to new infections compared to others.”

During a sensitization campaign against the spread of HIV/Aids held at Kyambogo University, UAC chairperson, Eddie Mukooyo said Uganda cannot achieve the 2030 target of ending HIV if the youths are not actively involved in the war against the disease.

“The new HIV infections are high among the youths aged between 14 and 24, this is the age group of our students and it is therefore important to bring them on board to achieve our 2030 target of ending the epidemic,” Mr Mukooya said.

According to the UAC statistics, above 1.4 million Ugandans are living with HIV as of December last year. Out of these, 858, 000 are women, 495, 000 men and 80, 000 children. Equally, Uganda lost over 17, 000 people to the disease in 2022 while 52, 000 new infections were registered in the same year.

Mukooyo revealed that out the 1.4 million Ugandans living with HIV, only 1.2 million have access to the health services and Anti-retroviral drugs.

“This means that about 200, 000 people are not using the drugs, but our 2030 target is to ensure that all people living with HIV are on drugs, with zero new infections and zero stigmatization cases,” he added.

 “The youths need to be equipped with the right information, data and statistics about the disease. The right data will enable them to break the stereotypes which have led to the spread of HIV among the youths,” he emphasized.

Kyambogo University director of health services at Dr Charles Mukisa blamed cross-generational and transactional sex for the “worrying surge” in Aids amongst students in tertiary institutions.

“Sugar daddies with money are becoming monsters to our young female students. These men have money and our female students always want to live a fancy lifestyle with modern phones, hair styles and clothes, so they end up falling victim to the disease,” Dr Mukisa remarked.

“The University initiated a full HIV prevention strategy where students are educated and counseled on preventing the spread of HIV, although the funds in this program is still limited, we are hopeful that it will bear the fruits in achieving the 2030 target,” he added.

Last week UAC Director General, Dr Nelson Musoba revealed that female youths aged 14-25 constituted more than two-thirds of 30,000 new HIV infections reported among women last year.