DR LOVE - Hilary Bainemigisha
MAYBE we are losing it again! This fear dogged me throughout the World AIDS Day last week. God forbid that the hard-earned victory against HIV be overturned. Uganda rarely invents anything.
We even had to wait for Speke to come and discover Lake Victoria for us. Then, maybe by chance, we come up with a lethal fighting strategy called ABC, made in Uganda. We reach out for the HIV prevalence which was galloping away at 35% and hurl it down to 6.2%. The whole world looks on in awe and struggle to import our formula. Our president gets a medal and we receive more funds, some of which can explain the rapid expansion of our city.
But now we are told that as the city expanded, the HIV returned. The virus we were beating into submission is rising again and, like Konyâ€™s LRA, giving new conditions and terms of reference in the talks to surrender. Statistics are showing an increase in incidence that generals and war planners are still too busy catching grasshoppers to attend to.
So, what is wrong with ABC? Nothing! Whatever is wrong is wrong with us.
Initially, ABC was a single message: Abstain from sex till marriage and then Be faithful. But for those who cannot manage, use Condoms. It was a formidable coordinated force that neighbours are coming to copy. But, in the meantime, we have subdivided it into three brigades A-B-C for assumed specialised efficiency and what do we see? The infantry takes its time off to ambush the armoured division when it is not attacking the navy. We have become grasshoppers which turn their anger against themselves when caught. And the enemy is taking time off the fight to smoke a cigarette!
The Abstinence advocates do not want to trust the Condom division, which in turn scorn them as ineffective.
Abstinence gurus never fail to find reason to pour such scorn on condom campaigners as if they donâ€™t belong to the same war side. Some have drummed up enough stigma against it that some people are starting to hide condoms in places we used to bury them in. No one knows whether the condom works any more, yet it was the General that helped us roll back the HIV infiltration.
As crusades are held to exchange fearful names, the target audience gets baffled. The case is muddled; confusion mounts, making the knowledgeable doubt their confidence. HIV reorganises and attacks like ruthless Karimojong rustlers firing from all directions.
We cannot win war â€“ any war â€“ without coordination and co-operation. Our missiles should be hurled at the enemy not the constituents that are fighting. I am sure the virus is enjoying itself.
We must stop unsolicited attacks and get back to the original war plot. That is my AIDS Day message â€“ however belated.