African Press International (API)

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Marriage is no guarantee to avoid HIV/AIDS

Posted by African Press International on September 11, 2007

Posted by Ham Galabuzi.K-Mukasa
Consultant
+47 481 48 231 Norway, +256 782 121 757 Uganda
ham@hgmconsult.com, post@hgmconsult.com
www.hgmconsult.com, www.hammukasafoundation.com

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WHILE marriage has highly been thought to greatly reduce the risk of catching HIV/Aids, it is increasingly emerging that this notion is proving otherwise. This emerged at the just concluded 1st regional forum on best health care practices. The forum, was organised by the East Central and Southern Africa Health Community in Arusha, Tanzania.

Debate ensured amongst delegates following a presentation by Dr Isaiah Tanui of the Global Aids Programme of the Centres for Disease Control in Kenya in which he cited Uganda as one of the countries in the region with a high incidence of HIV in married couples.

Dr Tanui’s argument was based on Uganda’s recent national HIV/Aids survey
that appeared to indicate that over the last decade marriage did not protect couples from catching the deadly disease. The survey indicated that married couples accounted for the largest proportion of new HIV infections in the country. “Sixty five per cent occurred among married people, 26 percent among divorced or widowed women, and nine percent among never married,” said Dr Tanui.

But last December, the press quoted the Director General of the Uganda Aids Commission as saying that research conducted from 1996 through 2005, showed that 42 per cent of the 130,000 new HIV infections in the country occurred within marriage. It emerged from the discussions that ensured
after Dr Tanui’s presentation that the problem was not only for Uganda but an emerging one for the entire region in all the 10 active East, Central and South African -Health Community countries.

Some delegates called for compulsory HIV testing for all couples intending to marry. Another group led by a Seychelles delegation called for an aggressive voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for intending marriage partners.
The called on religious organisations to join the campaign.

However, Dr Peter Toroitich of Kenya’s National Aids Control Project cautioned the forum that compulsory testing would raise human rights questions. “What we need is to revisit our VCT policies and advise pre-tests every time there are new relationships,” he added.

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Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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One Response to “Marriage is no guarantee to avoid HIV/AIDS”

  1. ham said

    a while ago i posted that article and today i have more facts. Marriage is no guarantee to avoid aids

    Like

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