AIDS in Uganda
HIV is a serious
health/social and economic problem affecting women, men, youth and
children. An estimated 36 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS,
and it has claimed 22 million people in the world since it was discovered.
The Sub-Saharan African region
is the most affected region in the World with 28.8 million people
infected. Uganda has been severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Since 1982 when the first AIDS case was diagnosed, HIV/AIDS has
been spreading throughout the country. Currently, HIV/AIDS is responsible
for 12% of annual deaths and is the leading cause of death among
people aged 15-45 years. As a result, over 2 million children (15%
of all children below 18 years) are orphaned.
Traditionally in many Ugandan
communities, women are charged with the day-to-day childcare roles
in households. This has resulted in increased workload for the women
therefore impacting negatively on economic production since women
account for 70-80% of the labour force involved in agricultural
production, the leading sector of the Ugandan economy.
TAOST's programmes have been
designed to relieve the suffering caused by AIDS and to prevent
the further spread of the disease. The age group most affected by
HIV/AIDS is the 15-45 years who are also the most economically viable
and are the breadwinners in their homes. This has resulted finally
into an enormous number of widows and orphans whose economic viabilities
are limited or absent.
The orphans especially are
endangered, if they cannot attend school to gain life support skills
for their future and if there are no social support networks to
ensure their survival, protection and upbringing. The increasing
number of street children is a testimony to this. The country is
in danger of losing out on a skilled workforce and the current trend
in development may not be sustainable in the near future. Focusing
on the challenges of HIV/AIDS and its impact especially on women
and children are timely interventions.
AIDS Orphans Support Trust
P. O. 498
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