Uganda and the fight against HIV
How did Uganda manage the HIV AIDs that once ravaged the country?
In the 1980s and the early 1990s, the very high rate of HIV infection experienced in Uganda created an urgent need for a solution to this epidemic. The government of Uganda adopted a number of approaches ranging from promotion the use of condom during sex, to abstinence only programs.
The Uganda Aids Commission has helped develop a national AIDS policy. The Ministry Of Health has implemented birth practices and safe infant feeding counseling through provision of Preventing Mother To child Transmission (PMTCT). Uganda was the first country to open a Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) clinic in Africa called AIDS Information Centre and pioneered the concept of voluntary HIV testing centers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Non-government organisations like Mildmay Uganda, did played a valuable role,especially at the grass roots level where it matters most. Mildmay Uganda operates a one stop AIDS centre where a client can get tested, counselling services and enroll for Anti-Retroviral Therapy the same day.
This in addition to their outreach programs in over 15 districts in Uganda. Despite all these efforts, the biggest stakeholder in the fight against AIDS is you and I, the individuals and the wanainchi. You and I are the foot soldiers because it is our actions or lack of it that makes the difference.
So how do we do it?
- By getting tested and knowing our partners HIV status.
- By making sure we talk to our partners about HIV testing and getting tested before we have sex.
- By using condoms correctly every time we have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- By limiting the number of our sexual partners.
- By getting tested and treated for STDs
- By having less risky sex.
- Insisting that our partners get tested and treated too
- HIV is mainly spread by having vaginal or anal sex without adiquate protection,the less of this, the better.
The more partners we have, the more likely we are to have a partner with HIV or any other Sexually Transmitted Disease. Having an STD can increase our risk of becoming infected with HIV or spreading it to others.
It is important to seek medical advice immediately after the unfortunate incident of rape or any other form of exposure. It is important not to re-use sharp objects like razor blades and injection needles and insisting on using sterilized surgical equipments.
By showing nothing but love and support to our friends and family that have AIDS.
If you are already a career of the virus just be aware that it is not the end the future can still be as bright, if only you can get the right help and advice,you can still beat HIV AIDS. All you have to do is to continue taking your medications as prescribed regularly to manage HIV and for others the best advice is to practice abstanace and safe sex, to prevent spreading the virus further.
Use condoms even with our HIV positive partners to prevent re-infection. One partner can have a strand of the virus different from the others and this can lead to reversing the milestones achieved while living positively thus far. Avoid and treat other sexually transmitted diseases, like herpes that can be more dangerous for someone with HIV, whose immune system is weaker than normal.
Get tested for STDs at least once a year. It is important to treat an STD immediately if you have one. Eat healthy, make sure all our meals are balanced in nutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals and water should be represented on our tables every day.
Take care of our emotional and mental health. Find a counselor through our healthcare providers. Finding out we’re positive and living with HIV may lead to depression and/or anxiety. But these conditions can be treated, and lots of people get better. Connect with a support group or peer counselor someone who’s also HIV-positive.
Find time to exercise,this can help us keep “muscle mass,” which people with HIV can lose, keep our bones strong, reduce stress and help you sleep ,boost your energy level. Find a workout partner to help you get going and stick to the program. Make time to sleep. Your body rebuilds while you’re sleeping.
When expecting a baby, you should work closely with health workers and follow their advice to prevent mother to child transmission. The ball is in our hands; we either drop it or make the shot that will win this deadly match against HIV AIDS. Our punch should be the final knock out and we should have the final say not HIV/AIDS.