Drug abuse has been cited as one of the root causes of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Kasese District.
This was established by of the HIV/AIDS Committee during their visit to Kasese District and the border town of Bwera to establish the challenges faced by people living with HIV/AIDS.
Mike Assimwe, a councilor representing the LCV Chairperson revealed this in a meeting with the Committee on HIV/AIDS on 9th April 2015.
He told the Committee that absence of stringent laws curtailing the usage of drugs has led to laxity by people which leads to contracting HIV.
“Drugs impair ones capability to think in a right way hence indulging in reckless behavior,” he said.
Rehema Aryema an HIV/AIDS victim and a peer counsellor also told the Committee Members that, there was a lot of stigma, saying that if one person was infected, it would be hard for them to reveal such information to their families.
“When one gets to know that they are infected with HIV/AIDS, they sometimes prefer to keep quiet and not tell anyone,” she explained.
Aryema told the Committee on HIV that since Kasese shares a border with DR Congo, many people from Congo also get ARVs from Ugandan hospitals.
“A Congolese on stage four of ARVs can take medicine meant for a Ugandan of the same stage of medication, which has resulted into shortage of drugs in our hospitals in some parts of Kasese,” she said.
She added that the people from the fishing communities inquired if there was a way on how the leadership of Uganda and that of Congo could link up to discuss the issue of sharing medication between the two countries.
In her response, the Chairperson of the Committee on HIV/AIDS, Hon. Sarah Netalisire told the meeting that in the new HIV Prevention and Control Act, Parliament ring-fenced the HIV money which would cater for any shortages if need arises.
“The HIV Prevention and Control Act establishes a trust fund where the public will contribute. The AIDS Commission will set up a committee to manage the fund according to the needs of the community.
Hon. Netalisire said the trust fund would cater for treatment, care for the HIV patients, counseling and testing.
Hon. Kaps Fungaroo cautioned the district leadership to sensitize the locals against indulging in reckless sexual activities with foreigners especially the tourists.
“It was found out in south Sudan for instance, female tourists who had sexual intercourse with the local men ended up infecting the men, which led to the spread of HIV/AIDS in those communities,” he explained.