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Gov't Asked to Target Youth in Future HIV Prevention Programs

Prof James Kiwanuka-Tondo, one of the authors at the North Carolina State University says there seems to be a knowledge gap among young men concerning the gravity of the virus.

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HIV/AIDS researchers have asked the government to revisit the country's campaign targeting the youth.

The call was made on Friday during the launch of a book that details Uganda's journey of responding to the HIV pandemic. The book; " HIV/AIDS in Uganda- Achievements and Challenges," was written by several academicians from Makerere University, University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina and The AIDS Support Organization.

According to the authors, while Uganda has achieved a lot in the HIV fight including international recognition, in the past few years, the youth have relaxed. The researchers say the once feared virus is now being tolerated by the youth. They add that campaigns such as ABC and the use of condoms are no longer very popular among young men especially.

Prof James Kiwanuka-Tondo, one of the authors at the North Carolina State University says there seems to be a knowledge gap among young men concerning the gravity of the virus.

According to Prof Tondo, the current generation of the youth does not seem to be interested in fighting HIV but rather looks comfortable living with it. He attributes this to an information gap, where some groups of people have forgotten or do not know the economic and social costs associated with the disease.

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Records from the Ministry of Health indicate that over 1.4 million people are living with HIV in the country. There are also an estimated 5,000 new infections weekly, especially among teenagers and youth.

Prof Tondo asked academicians to document the country's earlier journey to help the youth understand that HIV is still a challenge.

Renowned HIV/AIDS advocate Dr Stephen Watiti, who delivered the keynote address similarly urged academicians to take interest in documenting pandemics such as HIV and COVID-19 so that future generations can pick a leaf on how to handle future emergencies.

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