RUKUNGIRI- The Public has been encouraged to come out and test for HIV/AIDS if the country is to register a reduction in transmissions.
This was on Friday November 26th 2021 revealed by Dr. Zepha Karyabakabo the Director for Policy and Research at Uganda Aids Commission while disseminating the National Policy Guidelines on ending HIV and Stigma Discrimination in Uganda to Rukungiri district HIV/AIDS committee and other leaders at district headquarters.
The policy guidelines address stigma and spell out the role of different key stakeholders in addressing the vice. Through these guidelines, a number of issues are being addressed especially concerning people living with HIV/AIDS and discrimination.
Dr Karyabakabo explained that most people are hesitant to testing and knowing their HIV status thus contributing highly to the spread of HIV/AIDS. He called upon participants to sensitize communities on how to benefit from services that the government has put in place.
He added that the policy was launched since the biggest problem people living with HIV/Aids in Uganda face is stigma that has forced some of them to hide and isolate themselves hence failing to seek support in time.
He therefore said that there should be awareness to both family and non-family members of people living with HIV/AIDS to immediately stop discriminating or gossip people who open up on their HIV/AIDS status.
On behalf of the leaders, the Rukungiri district boss Kyomukama Geofrey confirmed that the information will directly be delivered to people such that discrimination and stigma to HIV/AIDS patients can be dealt with in communities.
It should be remembered that each year, on 1st December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
This year’s theme will be “End inequalities, End AIDS”. In Uganda, 1.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS but only 1.25 million are already on treatment.