Go for HIV medical check-up, bishop tells graduands

Ankole Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa (L) observes as ICT minister Chris Baryomunsi(C) awards the best students at the 19th graduation ceremony of Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara City on December 8, 2023. PHOTO/RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

Ankole Diocese Bishop Rt Rev Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa, who is also the Bishop Stuart University vice chancellor, has challenged graduands to go for HIV medical check-up in order to know their status and live positively.

Bishop Mwesigwa said this on Friday during the 19th graduation for Bishop Stuart University at the university’s Riverside grounds in Mbarara City.

“One of the challenges we have is increased cases of HIV infection among the 14-year-olds to 24-year-olds, that’s your age you students please you need to be careful. I caution you to go for a medical check-up and know where you stand. Some have lived with HIV for 30 but positively so don’t drop in the dark when you are educated and enlightened,” Bishop Mwesigwa said.

Officiating at the ceremony, information minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi also highlighted the need for young people to live responsibly if they are to enjoy fruits of their struggles.

“I add my voice to implore you that HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted infections still exist and that true that some statistics from government indicate that the prevalence rates in some of our urban areas remain high including Mbarara City so dear young people as you graduate you need to behave and be responsible,” Dr Baryomunsi said.

He also expressed pessimism regarding if Uganda will achieve the global target of ending AIDS by 2030.

“It’s how you and I will behave that will determine whether we shall achieve the target of ending HIV by 2030 ,and we are just a few years from reaching there,” he added.

Baryomunsi also implored graduates to be honest and exercise high levels of integrity as they face the world of work. This was after Bishop Mwesigwa noted that another challenge the country faces is corruption and lack of integrity.

At the graduation ceremony 1,512 students were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates in different disciplines and out of these 48 percent were females and the rest males.