KAMPALA- A latest report by the United Nations shows that 570 young girls in Uganda aged between 15-24 years, get infected with HIV.
“In Africa, Uganda is second to South Africa, where at least 2,363 get infected with HIV every week, compared to 468 for Kenya, 491 for Tanzania and only 25 for Rwanda,” says the UNAIDS report dated 2013, which also quotes the 2014 US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.
The report on the current prevalence rate was disseminated at a conference hosted by Alliance of African Mayors’ Initiative for Community Action on Aids at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala yesterday. The conference was intended to draw strategies to improve urban health, end cholera and HIV/Aids pandemic by 2030.
The report put teenage girls in the group of key populations where HIV prevalence is highest. The group was in the past dominated by sex workers, fishermen, long distance truck drivers and boda boda cyclists.
Girls from the age of 20-22 have a 7.1 per cent prevalence rate, while boys of the same age have a significantly lower prevalence rate at 2.8 per cent. It says, between the ages of 23 and 24 years, girls’ prevalence rate remains significantly high at 7 per cent more than that of boys of the same age bracket.
Dr Zepher Ranyabokabo, from Ministry of Health attributed this trend to cross-generational sex and the use of money to lure unsuspecting young naïve girls. “Go look at those posh vehicles parked at girls university hostels, those men are not picking or visiting their daughters but they are picking other people’s daughters,” Dr Ranyabokabo said.