Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 600 people enrolled on the life prolonging Anti-Retroviral Treatment-ART at Buseruka health center III in Hoima district have abandoned treatment and disappeared without trace.
These are part of the over 1000 people enrolled on the ART since August last year. Rostico Akugizibwe, in charge of Buseruka health center III explains that only 400 enrolled on ART are active.
Akugizibwe explains that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Buseruka sub county stands at 6 percent, which is higher than the 5.0 percent prevalence in the district.
He attributes the high prevalence rate of HIV in the sub county to the influx of people from other parts of the country looking for employment in the oil and gas sector.
Akugizibwe advises people enrolled on ART to adhere to the guidelines to avoid a relapse. He is worried that some of the missing patients could be suffering silently in the village without treatment.
He is also worried that some of them could be involved in risky sexual behavior and infect more people since they abandoned treatment.
Akugizibwe calls on area leaders and other stakeholders at all levels to mobilize those who have abandoned treatment to return.
Robinah Tibakanya, the coordinator Hoima district Forum for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS blames some health officials in the district for failing to guard the information regarding people living with HIV/AIDS.
She claims that some health workers have gone ahead to disclose and expose the status of people living with HIV/AIDS to the public, which has forced many to abandon treatment.
Tibakanya challenges health workers handling HIV/AIDS clients at different health facilities to handle them with the appropriate care they deserve and stop using harsh language to allow them continue with treatment.
In 2018, at least 250 people enrolled on ART at Kigorobya health Center IV in Hoima district disappeared without trace. They were part of 2817 people enrolled for ART at the health center. 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.