By Carol Kasujja
More teenagers are getting infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
The majority are engaged in early sexual activities with sugar mummies and daddies and house maids according to Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of state for Health in charge of general duties.
He said this during the closing ceremony of the 22th annual youth conference at Lugogo on Thursday.
“HIV/AIDS-related deaths among teens aged 15 to 19 have increased by 50 percent. Most of the teenagers who are affected with HIV are boys because they do not practice safe sex and have multiple partners and they sleep around with house girls. About 2.1 million adolescents are known to be living with HIV,” he said.
He called upon all young people to focus on their studies and abstain from sex until marriage. He also advised those who are already engaged in sexual activities but unaware about their status to go and test to get counseling, care and support from the health experts.
In her speech read by the KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi, The first lady Janet Museveni, reminded the youth to have fun with their lives but they should not forget that HIV/AIDS is among them.
“In line with the theme of the conference 'An AIDS free generation: my responsibility', I want to call upon you, the youth from your respective schools and communities, to remember that HIV/AIDS is still with us, is deadly diseases and that it has no cure. The available anti-retroviral drugs can only prolong the life of an infected person but are, by no means, a cure,” she said.
She noted that since HIV/AIDS is largely a behavioral disease, the youth should make good choices in life and keep away from behaviors like drugs and alcohol that may expose them to infection.
During the conference, 400 youth tested for HIV and 6 were found to be positive. Four girls and 2 boys were given their results after counseling.