HIV/AIDS Prevention Should Be Taken Seriously by All, Says Deputy RDC Okidi

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Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Cosmas James Okidi has called on all Ugandans to take HIV/AIDS prevention seriously. He made the call while appearing on Radio Rupiny FM in Gulu to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

Okidi said that a report by the Uganda AIDS Commission, under the Office of the President, shows that there are 1,433,000 people living with HIV in Uganda. The report also shows that 52,000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2022, and 17,000 people died of HIV-related illnesses.

In Gulu district, the HIV prevalence rate is 8%. This means that 8 out of every 100 people in Gulu district are living with HIV. The new infection rate in Gulu is 4%, and the prevalence rate among pregnant women is 1.4%.

Okidi urged Ugandans to avoid alcohol and drug abuse, as these can impair judgment and lead to risky sexual behavior. He also encouraged people to get tested for HIV, abstain from sex, and avoid peer pressure.

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Okidi further called on local leaders to mobilize communities to fight negative social and cultural practices that expose people to the risk of HIV, such as child marriage and gender-based violence. He also said that it is the responsibility of leaders to offer support and protection to families whose members are affected by HIV/AIDS.

Okidi concluded by warning the community against stigmatizing and discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS. He said that the government is committed to eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2040.

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