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2000 abandon ART services at Buliisa General Hospital

FILE PHOTO: Life-prolonging anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.

Buliisa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 2000 people enrolled on the life prolonging Anti-Retroviral Treatment-ART at Buliisa General Hospital in Buliisa district have abandoned treatment and disappeared without trace.

They are part of over 6000 people enrolled on the ART since March 2019.

Dr. Nelson Naisye, the Buliisa district health officer-DHO told Uganda Radio Network that only 3500 HIV people are active while the rest can’t be traced.

He says efforts by the health officials to trace for the patients who have abandoned treatment have proved futile.

According to Naisye, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the district stands at 4.1 percent which he says is high. He attributes the high prevalence rate to high rate of commercial sex among area residents.

Richard Mugume, the Buliisa district HIV focal person says it is risky for patients to abandon treatment since they are likely to develop drug resistance. He advises those who have abandoned treatment to return so that they can prolong their lives.

Mugume calls upon health workers handling HIV/AIDS clients at different health facilities in the district to handle them with special care saying some of them run away because of mistreatment by health workers.

Justine Ahebwa who is living with HIV/AIDS and an activist says HIV patients should always be given priority and love while at health facilities.

According to health experts, antiretroviral drugs are considered highly effective in controlling HIV replication.

Their use has modified the natural history of HIV as well as significantly reduced the associated morbidity and mortality.

The use of antiretroviral drugs significantly controls the HIV viral load in the blood and semen thereby reducing the rates of viral transmission and occurrence of new infections.

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