Uganda Young Positives, Uganda
ScientificTracks Abstracts: J HIV Retrovirus
Introduction & Aim: Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP) is a Global Policy Framework that highlights the importance of placing persons living with HIV at the center of managing HIV, their health and well-being. Studies have been done globally, but this being the first specifically focused on adolescents and Young People Living with HIV and AIDS (YPLHIV). The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which the PHDP approach is espoused in Uganda among YPHLIV. This study provided a baseline against which the effect of advocacy interventions to promote PDHP approach in Uganda will be measured.
Method: 275 YPLHIV were selected using non-random purposive sampling techniques from the districts of Gulu and Iganga and interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data was collected using tablets, managed using ACCESS and STATA packages.
Findings: 46% viewed HIV prevention as a shared responsibility. 30% did not have Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) in the areas where they lived and for those who accessed ART, 44% took 2 to 4 hours to get to their regular health care center. 13% never had CD4 count taken primarily because they did not know. 30% could not disclose their status for fear of being left by partners. 19% used substances in the form of drugs yet there was no drug rehabilitation center at all (0%). Only 10.5% knew of any laws protecting them and their rights and 72% could not access free legal services. 59% experienced gender violence, yet 54% of whom did not know of organizations providing support in this area.
Conclusion: Being an advocacy focused operational study, there is need to empower YPLHIV with knowledge and information on policies to enable them demand for health services, address stigma and discrimination, for them to prevent HIV and other communicable diseases. YPLHIV need to be meaningfully engaged in policy and program development for improved comprehensive HIV/Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) information and services.
Sam Ocen has his passion and expertise in Programming and Research in Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR). He is an HIV and AIDS Fellow of Makerere University School of Public Health and has completed his Master’s degree in Population and Reproductive Health. He was the Principal Investigator of the PHDP study in Uganda. He is a Member of the National Monitoring and Evaluation TWG of Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) and the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Adolescent Health at the Ministry of Health.
E-mail: [email protected]