I Tested For For HIV, Have You? 

Recognizing World AID’s Day to me is a refreshment of a day-to-day struggle against HIV/AIDS’s as we mitigate it’s prevalence and effects. We, ‘if not all,’ are affected by this challenge not forgetting those who are actually living with the problem it’s self. Uganda has once been a model country in fighting HIV/AIDs in Africa, however we can not fail to recognize the falling down of this record. As we speak now, about 76 people die of HIV/AIDS per day, 227 people get infected per day of which 570 weekly infection are young women. Currently, the HIV/prevalence-rate stands at 7.3%.  Looking out of Uganda, its important to also note that HIV/AIDS is a global problem not just in Uganda. In the UK there are 104,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and 6000 diagnosed each year. Majority of the affected however are men, who contracted the disease in the following percentages; 60% from having sex Men to Men (Homosexuality) 40%  from having sex Men to Women, 1% from sharing sharp instruments such as Needles and 2% get infected at birth.

On a personal level, I have lost loved ones to HIV/AIDS due to some of the problems probably shared above and others due to ignorance of what HIV/AIDs actually is… Hence on this day, I choose to shade more light on facts About HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is full is know as the Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Following initial infection, a person may not notice any symptoms or may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. Typically, this is followed by a prolonged period with no symptoms. As the infection progresses, it interferes more with the immune system, increasing the risk of common infections like tuberculosis, as well as other opportunistic infections, and tumors that rarely affect people who have working immune systems. These late symptoms of infection are referred to as AIDS. This stage is often also associated with weight loss. HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.

Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Methods of prevention include safe sex, needle exchange programs, treating those who are infected, and male circumcision.  Disease in a baby can often be prevented by giving both the mother and child antiretroviral medication. (Wikipedia)

Recently, I was frightened when I discovered “Young people  ages 15 to 24 years are at the highest risk of contracting HIV/AIDs.” Therefore is important to encourage discussions on how we can control and reduce this risk so that people may not get infected. As for those infected, its vital to also let them know that its not the end of the world, through the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health Uganda has initiated a program which encourages all of us to get tested and if found with the virus, treatment begins right away to prevent all the above symptoms and ensure you live a long life. On this very note, I encourage my fellow youth to live life more responsibly!! Abstain if you can, or Use a condom while having sex… Get tested and know your status regardless if you are married or not.

Today, I know my status and pledge to live life responsibly, protect, love and care for people living with HIV/AIDS, engage more young people in discussions on HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Its a role every Parent, teacher, leader, lawyer, man, woman, child, the list goes on; everyone has to be part of the struggle against HIV/AIDS. We all should adopt to the slogan I got from Roben Island Prison “each on teach one.” and reduce ignorance!! Remember, its a Day-To-Day Struggle.

Get tested today, share message on your platform below, thank you.