Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze has slammed bloggers and social media enthusiasts for demonizing celebrated MC Edwin Katamba alias MC Kats after the socialite came out to say he was HIV positive.
A video of MC Kats screaming in pain as he searched for his drugs at his apartment has since gone viral.
The video was recorded by a skimpily dressed woman before being shared on social media.
MC Kats is a close associate of singer Fille.
Nambooze said the news that a young celebrity man and a lady he loves…. both of them being young parents are facing a heart breaking condition of living as either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS was enough to make any sane mind sad.
She added: “Unfortunately not to all Ugandans….a few careless and reckless individuals whose behavior borders on being sadists quickly picked on the news in a celebratory mood and straight away started demonising these two people.”
The opposition lawmaker wondered why someone would record a video of a visibly disturbed MC Kats and post it in on social media.
“This left me wondering why you today’s young people are that cruel? It’s my humble opinion that Kats and his girlfriend have a right to rebuild and get on with their lives without the judgment or scorn of strangers, and without their names being reduced to bywords for both HIV and craziness. After all, I think, it’s no less than what anybody would want for him or herself.”
Ugandans took to social media on Saturday and Sunday to show solidarity with MC Kats, a popular MC in Uganda.
Many praised him for coming out to share his HIV status and encouraged him to urge the young people to check their status and avoid the disease.
In 2018, according to UNAIDS, 84 percent of people living with HIV knew their status while 72% of people living with HIV were on treatment.
64% of people living with HIV were virally suppressed.
Nambooze said the biggest challenge in combating HIV in Uganda is the “reaction of society to those we suspect to have the disease or people in crisis over the same. This time around it has been worsened by the frenzy of modern news reporting, when social media bloggers often want to run ahead of the news cycle to get thousands of views, likes and comments and hence boost their pages which in the end attract business for them.”
She said Kats’ young family needs time to recover and receive appropriate assistance, including counselling services.
“To this end, its my sincere request that both formal and social media respect their privacy. Good enough Kats hasnt been selfish….he has come out and decared his status most probably as a contribution to the fight against HIV.”
Officia statistics indicate that Uganda in 2018 had 1,400 000 people living with HIV.
The HIV incidence per 1000 uninfected (the number of new HIV infections among the uninfected population over one year) among all people of all ages was 1.4.
The HIV prevalence (the percentage of people living with HIV) among adults of 15–49 years was 5.7%.
53, 000 people were newly infected with HIV.
Statistics also show that 23,000 people died from an AIDS-related illness.
UNAIDS reported that there has been progress in the number of AIDS-related deaths since 2010, with a 58% decrease, from 56 000 deaths to 23 000 deaths.
The number of new HIV infections has also decreased, from 92 000 to 53 000 in the same period.
Nambooze said Kats and his family needs love and understanding from the public not demonasation.
“Research has shown that whenever AIDS has won, stigma, shame, distrust, discrimination and apathy was on its side. Every time AIDS has been defeated, it has been because of trust, openness, dialogue between individuals and communities, family support, human solidarity, and the human perseverance to find new paths and solutions,” she observed.
“We love you Kats and Philly Lutaaya and we want to assure you that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence….And I request that this Sunday we pray for this youngman, his girlfriend and children plus the millions of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.”