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HIV patients cautioned against abandoning treatment

Antiretroviral therapy

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in greater Arua have been urged to stick to treatment despite the soaring food and other commodity prices.

Currently, there are over 400 registered HIV positive patients in Arua city and over 600 in Arua district, who are struggling to survive.

While handing over assorted food items on Thursday to more than 300 patients in Arua city and district, Stella Kentutsi, the Executive Director National Forum of People Living with HIV Aids Networks in Uganda-NAFOPHANU said the short-term relief is aimed at helping persons living with HIV to adhere to treatment and also unite them for more projects.

According to Kentutsi, many families with children and adolescents are struggling to feed themselves and this makes taking of ARVs difficult due to hunger.

Meanwhile Jack Kokole, the Coordinator of Persons Living with HIV/Aids in Arua city disclosed that more than ten of their members have had their viral load reduced as a result of the food aid given during the first round in March this year.

Kokole said they have put more efforts in mobilizing other clients who have fallen off the city networks to come back and resume their treatment with the second round of food relief given to them.

Helen Candiru, an HIV expert client who has lived with the virus for over 30 years in Arua city said the hard economic situation which has culminated into high food prices has made it difficult for some of their members to adhere to Anti Retro-viral treatment.

Romano Ssemajo, programme officer AgaKhan Foundation said they have injected over 190 Million shillings in procuring high nutrition value rice, beans, posho and salt to improve on nutrition of the HIV clients in 135 districts under the National network of People Living with HIV Aids.

NAFOPHANU together with Aga Khan Foundation have signed a 12-months agreement to provide food support to HIV clients in greater Arua with the third round to be rolled out in September this year.

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