THE high prevalence of domestic violence in Uganda is preventing the success of the ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful and use Condoms) strategy, which the country is using in HIV prevention.
Women activists noted that: â€œABC is not working for women because of domestic violence. Domestic violence increases womenâ€™s vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. This is the reason why many married women are infected with HIV.â€
According to Hope Turyasingura of the Centre for domestic violence prevention (CEDOVIP): â€œIf a man finds out that he is HIV-positive, he usually rapes his wife, saying he doesnâ€™t want to die and leave her for other men.â€
â€œWhile women are faithful, they do not have a say on their husbands sexuality,â€ noted Turyasingura.
She told journalists at the CEDOVIP offices in Kamwokya, Kampala on Tuesday that while domestic violence is one of the main contributing factor to the high HIV/AIDS prevalence among married people, the Government has ignored it.
â€œEven the prevention of the mother-to-child transmission of HIV is stalling because women experiencing domestic violence fear to tell their husbands when they are positive. They breastfeed their babies yet it is medically advisable for HIV-positive mothers not to breastfeed,â€ she said.
Turyasingura noted that domestic violence and HIV are inseparable.
â€œOnce domestic violence is in a relationship, it is a free ticket for that couple to get HIV/AIDS.â€
She dismissed claims that poverty is a major contributor to the spread of HIV, saying poor couples are more faithful than those living in poverty.
She added that the rigid society demands that ensure that women are economically dependant on men had also led to the increased levels of HIV infection among women.
Increased domestic violence fails AIDS prevention strategy