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United we stand! Medics, sex workers and HIV patients unite to fight killer disease

Some of the sex workers and Mukono health personnel in a meeting on Thursday (PHOTO/Namajja)

MUKONO – Health workers in Mukono district have joined hands with sex workers and HIV patients to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.

This was during a meeting held on Thursday, September 5, at Jobiah Hotel in Mukono with North Star Alliance, Mukono District leaders and the Mukono District Health Workers.

During the meeting, the health workers applauded the sex workers for their good efforts to fight the disease considering the risky nature of their business.

Dr Anthony Kkonde, the Mukono District Health Officer said: “Given the fact that the business you are involved in is risky, however, I would like to thank you for the efforts you put in to fight HIV.”

Ms Shamim Sanyu a nurse in Goma advised the sex workers to always move with their condoms.

Ms Sanyu said: “Always move with your condoms to be on a safe side whenever you are going to work instead of hoping that the men will always carry them for you.”

Mr Sam Bageya one of the HIV/AIDS patients asked all those who test positive to inform others instead of keeping quiet about it.

“If you test positive inform people you can trust instead of keeping it to yourself and also join focus groups that educate people about how to live with HIV,” said Mr Bageya.

He also urged the rest of the public not to discriminate those who are HIV positive.

“If someone confides in you about their HIV status, do not discriminate them because this will lead them into infecting others,” he said.

According to Dr Richard Ayebare the Country Manager North Star Alliance said that studies show that sex workers, truck drivers have been the major transmitters of HIV/AIDs in the country.

However, Ms Rose Nasita who has been a sex worker for 12 years said that they are not the ones who spread the disease she instead blames their clients for doing so.

Ms Nasita said: “On many occasions we as sex workers are accused of spreading HIV in our communities yet it’s the men. They go meet up a lady and demand for unprotected sex saying they are not dying today.”

Mr Steven Mufuwa the Deputy Chairperson LCV Mukono district said that changing people’s attitudes is one of the steps to fight HIV.

Mr Mufuwa said: “As we talk about HIV/AIDs we need to change people’s attitudes towards HIV through coming up with Behavioral Change Strategies.”

Some of the guests attending the meeting at Jobiah Hotel in Mukono district

The District Health Officer Dr Anthony Kkonde speaking in the meeting at Jobiah Hotel in Mukono

The deputy Chairperson LCV Mr Steven Mufuwa addressing the media at Jobiah Hotel in Mukono district

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