InterAid Uganda commemorates World Aids Day

InterAid Uganda,  Kasensero – Rakai district, 1st Dec. 2012

InterAid Uganda joined the rest of the world on 1st December 2012 to commemorate the World Aids Day (WAD). This year’s commemorations were held under the theme; “Re–Engaging Leadership in fight against Aids”. The national event was held in Kasensero – Rakai District, an area where the first HIV infection was cited and the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the Guest of Honor. Speaking during the event, Mr. Museveni emphasized and urged people to abstain from sex especially the youths and young children, be faithful to their partners and avoid multiple sexual networks, use condoms whenever they are not sure of their sexual partners, stop prostitution as it’s the root transmitter of the virus, test for HIV and be sure of their status, use drugs – ART for those already infected and also ensure the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTC) of the virus.

Inter Aid Uganda participated in the preparations together with membership on the National Organizing Committee (NOC) and commemoration of the World Aids Day both in Kampala and Rakai, where the district and national events were respectively held. In Rakai, Inter Aid Uganda in partnership with Rakai Community Based Health Project (RACHEP) organized an exhibition where information about Inter Aid and RACHEP was shared with whoever visited the stall. IAU/RACHEP worked hand in hand with its clients who formed a drama group called Bazira AIDS Group which was slotted for a performance on the day. Their message was about faithfulness positive living and drug adherence. According to the Rakai district and Kasensero local authorities, Kasensero has a population of approximately 15,000 people who are mostly engaged in fishing, small scale retail businesses, food vending and commercial sex with an HIV prevalence rate of 68% . Inter Aid Uganda in partnership with Rakai Community Based Health Project (RACHEP) with funding from Civil Society (CSF) has been implementing an HIV/AIDS project in Rakai especially on the landing sites and Islands around Kasensero. HIV Counseling and Testing was among the activities carried out during the day and the team tested and counseled 32 people who included 23 males and 09 females. All tested negative. As a continued effort to curb HIV, both male and female condoms were distributed to people who visited the stall and those who came for HCT. The President of the Republic of Uganda was led through the exhibition area for the service providers. View pictures of this inspection

In Kampala In Kampala, the day was started by a procession from freedom city where people marched through Zana round about on Entebbe road up to the grounds. The UMOJA group took the biggest show as they engaged in drama, music and testifying that they have been supported and to live with the virus as refugees, exhibited their IGA merchandise like Bitenge, jewelry and crafts and managed to sell stuff to the public. This led reduced stigma among refugees as they witnessed others testify on advantages of positive living and sought VCT services from service providers around. The guest of Honor, She then praised all participating organizations for the good work done and that substantial results were witnessed by the entire nation to the extent that every HIV health care provider is referred to as the savior of the people. Urban refugees were among the new people coming on scene and so Inter aid Uganda was commended for the work. Speaking during the function, the guest of Honor emphasized the need for continued and combined effort from individuals and organizations as they assist government in its ten point program to eradicate HIV and AIDS following the national policy.

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