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Lyantonde celebrates decline in HIV prevalence

Lyantonde. FILE PHOTO URN

Lyantonde, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lyantonde district health authorities are celebrating a decline in HIV/AIDS prevalence in the three years.

Dr Moses Nkanika, the Lyantonde District Health Officer, says that the prevalence rate reduced from 11.6% in 2018 to 9.5% to date. Nkanika attributed the reduction to various HIV/AIDS programs and services which were successfully implemented and are still ongoing.

He explains that they have been working with the Most At-Risk Population Initiative (MARPI) since 2018 to ensure that they extend all necessary services to commercial sex workers, truck drivers and others who are more at risk of HIV infection.

He explains that behavioural change is among the key factors that have led to the decline in HIV prevalence since people have adhered to frequent condom use due to the consistent distribution by the district.

At the same time, the district is embracing great improvement in the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission-PMTCT.  Nkanika explains that all babies born to HIV Positive mothers from the last quarter were safe unlike the previous quarter when they used to get at least one HIV positive baby.

According to Nkanika, the Rakai Health Sciences program is implementing a project that caters for lactating mothers on Anti-retroviral treatment to ensure their babies are safe.

According to Sr. Grace Nabisubi, the Focal Person PMTCT, pregnant women in Lyantonde have adhered to testing for HIV in time and those who are found positive immediately start treatment to save their babies.

John Mukasa, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Most at Risk populations Initiative –MARPI, say that the decline is due to improved behaviours and scaling up of HIV/AIDS programs and services in different communities in the district. He adds that more focus was put on the groups which are more at risk of getting and transmitting the virus and encouraging women to seek antenatal care in addition to the regular awareness campaigns.

He however says that the decline should not excite the community and engage in risky behaviour.

According to Uganda HIV/AIDS Country Progress Report July 2016-June 2017, at least 2,693 people had tested positive in Lyantonde and 72% are on Anti-retroviral treatment.

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