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Muntu tasked to combat HIV stigma once elected

Mugisha Muntu on his campaign trail.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Young people living with HIV/AIDs in Lango asked ANT presidential candidate Mugisha Muntu to consider formulating and strengthening the anti-stigma policies against HIV/AIDs clients once elected president.

Anti-stigma policies are customized guidelines put in place to reduce stigma. This includes types of behaviours that are not acceptable as well as things that stakeholders should specifically do to address stigma in the community to ensure the HIV clients are treated with respect and dignity.

While presenting their concerns to Gen. Muntu during his political rally at Lion’s pub in Aduku town council Kwania district, the group under their umbrella, the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) said HIV clients are facing stigma and discrimination in the community due to the weak anti-stigma policies put in place by the government.

Natukunda Tryphena, an ambassador representing the Young People Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda says due to weaker anti-stigma policies put in place by the government, many clients are forced to abandon treatment due to stigma by some members of the community.

Natukunda noted that more than 1,500 young people living with HIV/AIDs in Lango are orphans and unable to go to school. She asked the government to provide scholarships and sanitary towels for the children and empower the young women living with HIV/AIDs.

Oscar Ewaa, an ambassador representing the Young People Living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda says that much as the association registered young adolescent peers to deliver drugs to HIV clients in the community, they are trekking long distances to reach out to their clients.

Jackson Aggrey Etwop alias ‘Jek’, a prominent politician also vying for Kwania LCV seat under ANT says that as ANT, they will consider enacting better laws and making amendments to laws that improve the welfare of the vulnerable members in the community especially the HIV clients.

Muntu said the NRM government has left gaps in service delivery in the community due to lack of discipline to manage finance and natural resources. He pledged to manage the national resources in the country with the discipline to answer community-related challenges.

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