Luweero district has embarked on a campaign with its partners to combat alcohol and drug abuse amidst a surge of HIV infections. The 2016 Luweero District Health Report shows an increase of HIV prevalence from 6.4 percent in the past year to 8.4 percent currently.
The report also shows that only 25,284 of the 38,384 persons living with HIV know their status. It also shows that 742 out 21,040 mothers who attended antenatal care services last year tested HIV positive. Abdullah Zziwa Musisi, the Director Nyimbwa Multi-Purpose Organization of People Living With HIV/AIDS, blames the new infection rates especially in towns among youths on drug abuse.
He says the intoxicating effects of the drugs affected the judgment of the youths, which forces them to engage in impulsive and unsafe sexual behaviors. Musisi says some youths have been recruited into sexual activities for money that exposes them to HIV Infections.
He says they have secured Shillings 560 million from Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU) to carry out a five year drug abuse sensitisation campaign among youths.
He says under the campaign they will identify and counsel drug addicts and later deploy them to spread information to others to stop the practices.
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They plan to use drama shows, football tournaments and workshop among others to mobilize the youths. At least 32 groups of Youths Living with HIV/AIDS have been formed and will be helped by the programme to get income generating projects so that they don't resort to prostitution, which may spread HIV infection.
Edward Kalyesuubulwa, the Luweero District HIV Focal Person, says that the campaign will beef up earlier efforts by district health educators to fight the problem of drug abuse.
Paul Mukungu, the Luweero Town Council LC 3 chairperson, explains that the town council has allocated Shillings 5 million to facilitate health inspectors to sensitize youths against drug abuse and HIV.
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Some drug addicts told URN on condition of anonymity that they resorted to smoking drugs to pass time because they don't have jobs. The youths asked the organizations to help create for them income generating activities.
Ishahak Mugema the Luweero District Male Youth Councilor says unless they address the problem of unemployment, all the campaigns against drug abuse may not yield results.