The condoms at the Gulu University Health Unit are being supplied by the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: Gulu University’s 22nd guild leadership is prioritizing advocacy on HIV/AIDS in a bid to implement the presidential tract initiative envisioned for ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Over the weekend, guild officials made a high appeal to the ministry of health to regularly supply all the universities and tertiary institutions with condoms to curb the surging HIV prevalence among the students.

Francis Okot, the Gulu University guild president, said his regime focuses on promoting the health of the students, noting that they have embarked on advocacy through mass sensitizing and awareness campaigns among the students at the various universities.

Over the weekend, guild presidents from various universities and tertiary institutions in Gulu city joined the student community at Gulu University’s main library to discuss what should be done to reduce HIV prevalence among the students after their proposal was funded by the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Godfrey Namanya, the minister for health at Gulu University’s 22nd guild, said the awareness is being centered on behavioral change and utilization of HIV preventive materials such as condoms, testing services, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP among the students.

He revealed that the student leadership will hold a dialogue where experts on HIV will be invited to communicate with the students about HIV.

Nampirre Miriam, the Gulu University deputy guild president, asserted that the sexual itches between the students are high due to the fact that the majority of the students are youth who are adventitious.

In a bid to address the HIV prevalence, the student leaders have requested the ministry of health consider regular supply of condoms to the universities and tertiary institutions.

She revealed that on many occasions, the condom picking box at Gulu University remains empty since the utilization of condoms among the students is too high.

The condoms at the Gulu University Health Unit are being supplied by the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

Chua Collins Kisembo, the guild president of sacred Heart University, who attended the sensitization meeting, implored the students to change their physiological behavior when using the HIV preventive measures.

Grace Nagwa, principal counselor and senior physiologist at Gulu University, rallied the students to refrain from having multiple sexual partners.

She noted that the students have developed a culture of having sexual partners in all the faculties, which she said is contributing to the high HIV prevalence.

Victor Rwengabo, the HIV zonal coordinator for the Uganda Aids Commission, revealed that HIV prevalence is high among the students.

According to Rwengabo, HIV prevalence in the mid-north region shows that the prevalence in women is 7.1 percent and 3.8 percent for men living with HIV.

Rwengabo noted that the annual number of new infections is 54,000, almost four times higher among female adolescents compared to their male counterparts.

The report further stated that girls and women in Uganda face a disproportionate risk of HIV infection due to a combination of several factors, which can be biological, social, or cultural.

This report also found out that most of them, especially those in relationships, tend to keep quiet about condom use, HIV testing, and their lack of adherence to HIV treatment.

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