YOUTH PERCEPTION ON HIV/AIDS

YOUTH PERCEPTION ON HIV/AIDS

“At my young age, I was so interested in earthly things, such a sickness (AIDS) was never in my mind at any point. When I left my second marriage, I decided to date for fun because settling was becoming a real challenge in my life. I never thought this would turn out to be worst decision I have ever made in my entire life. I got into a random relationship without being conscious about the partners HIV status. After some time, I started falling sick of malaria,cough,regular strong headaches which weakened my health and the body. I was later advised to go for a blood test and the results came when am HIV positive and this knocked me down for real. I had to take in the truth after denial and start the medication right away. I keep regretting the reckless decision that made me live the rest of my life like a walking dead.” narrates Nandawula Grace Mary, an HIV victim.

How a person with AIDS looks like

This is not only a dark spot in the mind of Nandawula Grace, but an invisible blood river in the mind and heats of  university youths in Uganda. The enjoyment that blinds many youth’s and urban exposure leads them to a life time accident, though we would not neglect the fact that some were born with it, some raped but we look at the majority  of the youths who conceive HIVS due to their unseriousness.

Many youths engage in unprotected sex without considering the partners status which is a high risk to take when it comes to health. Girls decide to use emergence pills instead of condoms or abstinence. in this case, they claim they fear pregnancy more than AIDS which has no cure and deadly at the same time. Comparing HIV with pregnancy, the fact is everybody can easily notice pregnancy, but HIV medication can be taken in private. Though it is a personal issue, let’s not forget that AIDS is deadly, and medication is more important than anything else in the lives of the victims. This is because the virus has no effective cure.

Always chose to use condom when having sex with a person you don’t know his/her HIV status.

“Youths do not bother to have HIV tests before engaging in sex because of lust and high desire for sex. Many youths also lack clarity on the causes and existence of HIV. Girls fear pregnancy than sex because pregnancy is one of the signs that one played sex and it looks embarrassing forgetting that HIV is a lifetime issue. I would like everybody to know that HIV is still there, and the cure is not yet there and nothing new is going to be told but just creating alarm and reminding the youths to watch their health” doctor Mukiibi Lawrence of Kibuli hospital said.

HIV can change your entire life if not on a medication.

At the Islamic University in Uganda, HIV/AIDS camps and normally not invited and it is supposed to be done by the student’s guild council. This is because the council thinks this is a personal issue not concerning it.

“The reason as to why we don’t invite HIV camps is because we find that students are not ready to have them selves tested within the campus so they rather go and test from outside where there is privacy because we have an issue that when students are tested from inside, the results are seen by many and this brings stigmatization and many people can easily notice the situation” Bayo Abdulwadud the Guild president said. 

How to end stigma in HIV victims

Students who a known to have HIV are neglected and discriminated in the university. Ssembagwe cries out that the life he lives in at the campus is not good because of HIV. HIV positive students are neglected by their fellow students, lecturers and even some people they live with at home.

“Universities do not even have counselors to talk and advise positive students” Ssembagwe a second-year law student adds.

People with HIV need to be handled with care and they are not supposed to be judged at any point.

“students feel shy to be known by many people including the hired counselors due to the fear to disclose their status to many people” Bayo Abdulwadud said.

This may educate you about the HIV virus.

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