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Archive for December, 2012

KAMPALA

Anyone who visits a health centre or hospital for treatment will be required to undergo an HIV test if Health Ministry officials get approval for a new plan.

Dr Alex Ario, the HIV/Aids control programme manager at the ministry, said the new ‘Know your Status’ policy is in response to an increase in HIV prevalence in the country. “People who know their status are unlikely to engage in risky behaviour,” Dr Ario said. “The important question is: What do we lose if everybody is tested?”

HIV testing is currently voluntary. Under the new plan, people who attend health centres will have to take the HIV test as part of their treatment or check-up. Those who test positive will immediately be enrolled on a counselling and treatment programme.

Those who do (more…)

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jackline


In Summary
It was her family’s cruelty that Jacqueline Kemigisha, the last born of her father’s 10 children, was escaping when she landed in the hands of the man that would rape and infect her with HIV. On disclosure, the same family stigmatised her to the streets. The 28-year-old, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce at Makerere University, shares her story with Stella Nakakande.

“I found out I was HIV positive when I was 19. I had been getting symptoms throughout secondary school but I did not know. I had on and off fever, coughing, the skin rash… I had everything. After Senior Six though, I was admitted for one-and-a-half months with meningitis in Mbarara Hospital. Everything tested negative until I was finally tested for HIV and found it was the root cause of everything that had been happening to me. That was in 2004. I was scared.

Being a stepchild, no one welcomed such news or had any kind words for me. I was staying with my dad at the time and the whole family was generally not supportive.

“You see this one, she is going to die anytime,” was the statement that greeted every visitor that came home after I was discharged. The stigma was too much; I was the talk of the village where we were living in Rukungiri. My father had refused to pay for my medicine arguing that there was no need for him to waste his money since I was going to die. He instead suggested that I sit and wait for my death. He even said he would save more if he bought me a coffin and kept the change from the (more…)

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