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Benedict Okethwengu, NewVision, Uganda: 71% Nebbi women ignorant of HIV spread

71% Nebbi women ignorant of HIV spread 
by Benedict Okethwengu, August 9, 2011

At least 71% of women in Nebbi are ignorant of the ways to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted diseases (STDs).

The women are also not informed on the subsequent action to take when infected with these diseases. A baseline survey carried out by Nebbi district from July 18 to 22, 2011 also found that 59% of the women in the district could not identify two symptoms of HIV/AIDS and other STDs while 91% knew nothing of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.


According to the survey, the sub-counties of Wadelai, Panyango, Erussi and Nyaravur are the most affected in the district.

The statistics now have civil society organisations worried that the situation could be a major setback to the district’s fight against HIV/AIDS and STDs.

Remmy Mbaziira, the technical advisor for monitoring and evaluation at the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (West Nile region), urged the district to address the negative findings in the report before the situation gets out of hand.

“Let district leaders take these findings and integrate them into the development plan. It is alarming to find that women do not know where to go when infected by HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Anthony Androzi, the Nebbi district health inspector, admitted that the findings in the survey were a true picture of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and STDs in those communities.

“It’s still a big challenge. Even men want to know their sero status by proxy. They wait until their wives are pregnant and when they test negative, the men also assume they are negative,” Androzi said.

Julius Amule, the Nebbi district community development officer, who led the survey, said HIV/AIDS prevalence in the district is at 4.7%. He also noted that 67% of the men in the district did not use condoms, putting them at a higher risk of contracting HIV.

“We have a problem in Nebbi town council, Kucwiny and Nebbi sub-county. Condom use is only at 43%,” he said.

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