Government has been urged to intensify regulation of tradition medicine advertisements, which according to experts, have lately been a driving factor in the growing of the HIV/AIDS Prevalence in Western Uganda.
The South Western region currently has the highest HIV Prevalence of 7.9%, which is higher than the national average of 6.7%. This is second only to the Central 1 Region at 8.0% whereas West Nile has the lowest prevalence of 3.1%.
In the south western region, Kiruhura district emerged as the most afflicted by the deadly disease.
This was revealed by Dr Nelson Musoba, the Director General Uganda Aids Commission, during the closing of a stakeholders’ evaluation meeting for South Western region of the Presidential Fast Track Initiative on the End of HIV/AIDS as Public Health Threat in Uganda by 2030.
The meeting was held at Lake View Resort in Mbarara under the theme “reaching men, girls and young women to reduce new HIV infections.”
Officials during the meeting blamed the high prevalence on the incessant media advertisement of herbal medicine, which encourages people to engage in unprotected sex.
Patrick Besigye Keihwa the Kabale LC5 chairman and Vice Chairman Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), appealed to government to intensify regulation of the tradition medicine business.
He said herbalists often induce sexual activity by advertising medicine which they claim increases sexual prowess.
Such adverts on the various radio stations that mislead people, he said, should be banned.
According to Dr Musoba, although the country has made significant progress in the fight against AIDS, the magnitude of the epidemic still remains high mostly among the youth.
As of December 2017, he said, the number of people living with HIV between the ages of 15-49 years increased to 1.3million from 1.2 million.
Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama, the state minister of defence and veteran affairs during the meeting, asked the leaders to emulate President Museveni by encouraging the people they lead to go for tests and to immediately start medication when they are positive.
“President Museveni’s aggressive approach to the fight against Aids is what had brought us thus far,” he said.