Opinion
Access to HIV care services closer and affordable in stigma-free settings
Publish Date: May 27, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Irene Mirembe

As the HIV/AIDS agenda is back on, with the HIV Bill in motion and HIV/AIDS related court cases being the talk of town, it is important to remember that communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment for HIV/AIDS should be universal and priority. 

High level of stigma surrounding HIV /AIDS in our communities prevent people seeking their HIV status or from seeking care and speaking honestly with their partners, if they know they are positive. With new infections increasing each year, our efforts should be geared to making HIV Care services available and in a stigma free setting.

Thankfully, the Uganda National HIV prevention strategy spells out the renewed plan to face this epidemic and this is what we should see this renewed vision in action because actualising this will go a long way to address stigma thus reducing on new infections the country registers every year.

The starting point is for every one to take an HIV test so that they get to know their sero-status. There are guidelines in the HIV strategic prevention plan if one is negative such as advice on safe sex behaviour, condom use and access to free safe male circumcision. If one tests positive there are packages for them such as access to treatment, and advice on positive living so as to stop the spread of infection.

Protecting your sexual and reproductive health is one of the positive living practices that need to be adhered to, this also includes consistent use of condoms correctly to protect oneself and sex partner from contracting STIs including HIV.

Discussing reproductive health options with the health provider in case one desires to become pregnant is a good lifestyle practice that clients can adopt, this coupled with always choosing the dual protection method like using condoms combined with other contraceptives like pills, IUD, to avoid becoming pregnant  protects one from re-infection and being pregnant.

If a client living with HIV/AIDs is pregnant, access safe delivery services in a safe environment under the supervision of a skilled health care provider at a health facility near them

Another Positive living lifestyle is delaying HIV disease progression by making regular visits to health facility and seeking the services of trusted health care provider in case one is sick. Taking the right doses of the medications (ART &Septrin) at a convenient time as prescribed by the provider is good

Also Seeking immediate support from people one trust, if they are having any trouble with taking their medications, looking after their physical health by avoiding behaviours that harm their health like alcohol or other drugs/ smoking cigarettes is key.  Having a balanced diet, exercising regularly and drinking clean safe water is a good practice.

Seeking psychosocial support from skilled counsellors/peer support groups  helps people feel better, being actively involved in local support group to learn new skills and make life better for all People Living with HIV in the community and always sleep under a long lasting insecticide treated mosquito net needs to be emphasised

Taking a shared responsibility to protect oneself and their sexual partner, encouraging them to test for HIV, being aware of ones  rights as a PLHIV (right to health, dignity, freedom of expression and movement, privacy, confidentiality and informed consent) and accepting ones HIV status,  disclosure to their partners and family is key. Communities that support PLHIV access up-to-date information on HIV risk reduction behaviours from their peers and health providers promote positive living.

Therefore, promoting a shared responsibility for preventing HIV among your partners, friends and colleagues for every HIV positive person is important, if we are to combat this national tragedy.

The writer is a Communications Coordinator at PACE

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Focus on village savings to eradicate poverty
Living in poverty is ugly and those trapped in it need to explore their potentials out of it. Uganda has made enormous progress in reducing poverty levels country wide from 56% in 1992 to 24% in 2009; several national studies report the reduction to be more significant in urban areas compared to ru...
Germany’s secret credit addiction
With recent data showing that German exports fell 5.8% from July to August, and that industrial production shrank by 4%, it has become clear that the country’s unsustainable credit-fueled expansion is ending....
Safeguard the environment to alleviate poverty
The environment is very crucial in re-enforcing strategies for alleviating poverty and it is a corner stone for ing ways of eradicating poverty especially in rural areas....
Romania’s Underdog of Hope
The results of the recent Romanian presidential election were a happy surprise. Despite mounting a well-funded and ruthless campaign based on nationalism and religious devotion, Victor Ponta, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and current prime minister, lost to Klaus Werner Iohanni...
Give your heart to god
At the heart of the city of Kampala stands a church in honor of Christ the King. The statue just outside the Church conveys the nature of his Kingship. He is a humble Servant King, appealing to everyone’s reception....
What to expect from the national health insurance
Health Insurance is attracting more and more attention in low and middle income countries, Uganda inclusive. It is indeed pretty worrying that only about 3% of the Ugandan population has health insurance....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter