UMA urges Ugandans to celebrate December festivities cautiously, AIDS is a killer

Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) has urged Ugandans to enjoy the December festive season with restraint in order to avoid contracting the dreaded HIV/AIDS virus.

UMA chaiperson Barbara Mulwana reminded Ugandans that they should not forget that while December is a month to celebrate, it is a month dedicated to commemorate World AIDS Day. The day which falls on December 1 aims to remind people around the world of the menace that is the still incurable disease and to provide support for those living with it or who have lost loved ones to it.

Mulwana said UMA's commitment to support people living with the virus and those who mourn loved ones has inspired it to start up different health programs being run by member companies like Kakira, Uganda Baati, Hima Cement.

She said that with 6 new HIV infections every an hour, vigilance and concerted efforts are still required to arrest the spread of HIV. This is particularly pertinent for the manufacturing sector in which employs over 1.5 million people directly and myriads more indirectly thus requiring a healthy workforce.

With 540 young women between the age of 15 and 24 getting infected with HIV every week, there is cause to worry. The above statistics translates to two young women getting infected with HIV every hour.

According to experts, unless something fundamental is done to reverse the trend, more girls and young women will be infected in the days ahead.

When it comes to men, regrettably, many are not going for an HIV test, so many do not know their status, which is a dangerous position to be in.

This year’s global theme was Right to Health and the national theme is: Reaching men, girls and young women to reduce new HIV infections.

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