27 December 2012

Uganda: NGO to Test 10,000 for HIV/Aids in Kampala

Photo: Aphaluck Bhatiasevi/WHO
The health sector played a key role despite numerous challenges in the year 2012.

A Kampala-based non-government Organisation; Integrated Community Based Initiatives (ICOBI) has launched a festive season HIV/Aids testing campaign for Kawempe division.

ICOBI Executive Director Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said the campaign would target 10,000 people. The campaign dubbed "A New Year: A new beginning! Know your Status this Festive Season" will target homes and religious places to increase HIV testing among residents.

Dr Tumwesigye, who is also the Chairperson of the HIV/Aids committee of Parliament, launched the campaign in Nsooba Lufula village Kawempe division over the weekend, explaining that the door-to-door testing and community outreach is free.

"I appeal to residents of Kampala and Wakiso to offer all the necessary support towards achieving this goal so as to make our society an Aids free generation." Dr Elioda Tumwesigye said.

ICOBI has also pledged to link HIV-negative males to safe male circumcision centres, while those found to be HIV-positive will be referred to psycho-social support and spiritual counselling as well as Prevention of Mother to Child Treatment (PMTCT). According to the latest HIV/Aids Indicator Survey (2011), at least seven in 100 people in Kampala are HIV-positive and the prevalence is higher among women.

"Despite the fact that evidence has demonstrated overwhelming benefits of HIV counselling and testing for HIV prevention, less than 40% of adults have ever tested for HIV." Tumwesigye said.

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