Long distance truck drivers at Katuna border post have embraced Voluntary HIV Testing Counseling services-VCT. Records at Katuna resource centre also show a remarkable improvement in the behavior change amongst truck drivers.
At least 50 truck drivers turn up every month at the VCT center managed by the Transport union for voluntary HIV testing and counseling services. Joseph Nkurunziza along truck driver from Burundi says that several truck drivers have now resorted to getting permanent sexual partners at the boarder instead of relying on commercial sex workers.
Nkurunziza, a father to three children says that he decided to get another woman at Katuna because the nature of his job keeps on the road for about six months. He says that he has started a small business and pays rent for his partner to avoid temptations of getting in multiple relationships.
Nkurunziza alleges that several women at Katuna have at least three boyfriends, with each of the men thinking he is the only partner. Betty Anayo, coordinator for truck drivers, community and casual sex workers at Katuna says that most of the drivers have embraced safe sex practices.
She however says that they are faced with a huge challenge of extending their programs across the border to Rwanda and Congo. She explains that several prostitutes operating in Katuna cross into Uganda from Rwanda and disappear by day break.
Anayo identifies Rubaale and Katuna as high risk HIV infection areas where the prevalence rate is about 11 percent.
// Cue in: â€œplan to have â€œâ€¦
Cue out: â€¦â€to get money and thenâ€//
she says that in their joint meeting with their Rwandan counterparts they Gatuna town, has a high prevalence of over six percent, about twice the national average.
// Cue in: â€œthe style of sexâ€â€¦
Cue out: â€¦â€to use a condomâ€//
Dr. Patrick Tusiime, Kabale District Medical Officer says that despite their efforts the HIV/Aids prevalence rate is still high.