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Ministry of Health Warns of Deliberate HIV/AIDS Exposure by Young People

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The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, has raised concerns about young people living with HIV/AIDS deliberately exposing others to the virus, putting them at risk. Speaking at the pre-World AIDS Day conference held at Hotel Africana on November 27, 2023, Atwine highlighted the alarming trend of infected youths abandoning treatment, and many others unaware of their HIV status.

Addressing the issue of maternal HIV testing, Atwine emphasized that a significant number of mothers do not undergo HIV testing during pregnancy, leaving their unborn babies vulnerable to the virus. To tackle the challenge of HIV transmission among the youth, Atwine stressed the importance of providing peer-to-peer support for those living with HIV and raising awareness about prevention methods for those who are negative.

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She urged young people to abstain from transactional sex to maintain their health and stay in school. Atwine shared a personal perspective, emphasizing that while facing similar hormonal challenges during her youth, she and her peers exercised patience, avoided transactional sex, stayed in school, and grew into responsible citizens.

As Uganda and the world prepare to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2023, the focus is on spreading awareness about AIDS. The heightened concern is particularly relevant in Uganda, where HIV/AIDS infections are on the rise, with Mbarara district reportedly registering the highest cases, predominantly among young girls and boys.

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