HIV

Today, the call for HIV/Aids and poverty reduction and rural self-sustainability is in high demand. It is becoming increasingly clear that success in the struggle to minimize the devastating effects of HIV/Aids in isolated communities will largely depend on the ability of the different stakeholders and volunteers to work together. Indeed civil society has done its best to supplement government efforts in the struggle, and needs both recognition and support for the ongoing and sustainable services it offers.

 

It has been noted, beyond doubt, that it is mainly children and women who are most vulnerable to the effects of the HIV/Aids epidemic.  Since they are mostly dependent on the head of the traditional family (men are the family bread-winner) they are, more often than not, left in the most difficult and dire situations.


Even though ARVs and other medical care may be available in certain health-care centers (and, in the case of Uganda, the ARV treatments are theoretically free of charge), ability to access these services is often impossible for rural and isolated residents.  Contributing factors include poverty, infrastructure, and lack of access to immediate health care and support services.  For a HIV positive resident living on an isolated island, for instance, the cost of a boat to and from the medical clinic on the coast may be impossible to pay as they do not even live in a cash economy.  In another situation, the roads to the afflicted person’s village may be almost impassable. Not only are there financial concerns involved and the added problem of distance and the dangerous roads and voyages, but there is the added burden of social and family stigmatization and discrimination against those who test positive.  In an isolated community, where neighbours and extended family are of supreme importance, this can cause a host of additional problems.

 

  There are many people in outlying communities who have tested HIV positive and have related problems and questions and yet they are not able to access the support they need and medical advice about treatment.  There are also those who suspect they have the virus but cannot convince themselves to undergo testing and nor can they find counselors for guidance.

 



The specific aims of Volset Foundation in this special issue include:

 

  •  The provision of up-to-date HIV/AIDS information in a manner that is easily understood and that is appropriate for each individual’s circumstances
  • The promotion of PHAs involvement in the dissemination of health information and provision of counseling services in the community.
  • Giving attention to children and women who live in situations where distress is likely to escalate
  •  Referrals to closer medical and counseling services for HIV/AIDS & STDs 

 

 

 HIV/AIDS in Uganda


30,262,610: population of Uganda (2007 est.)

810,000: Estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007

5.4%: Estimated percentage of adults (ages 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007

59%: Estimated percentage of HIV cases that occurred among women (ages 15-49) by the end of 2007

130,000: Estimated number of children (ages 0-15) living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007

77,000: Estimated number of deaths due to AIDS during 2007

Source

UNAIDS 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic.  July 2008.

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