Dr. Kiberu Joshua, the Medical Superintendent at Lugazi Hospital has advised people to get tested, know their HIV status and live a longer life.
In an discussion on Twitter, Dr Kiberu shared his views on @storm24seven, an online news website with a niche on youths in leadership and mentorship that hosted panelists to discuss their perspectives on AIDS, as part of the events to mark World Aids Day last week.
Dr. Kiberu cautioned people to know their status so that they can access treatment before it's too late.
"HIV testing is free of charge and many hospitals and clinics give your results on the same day. To everyone reading this, get to know your status now and access treatment if you are positive so that you can have a longer life," Dr. Kiberu said.
He further mentioned that people die from HIV because they don't know they have it, aren't on treatment or they start treatment too late.
He added: “A multitude of people die because they lack knowledge, remember knowledge is power. According to statistics, 1 in 4 people living with HIV don't know their status and they end up failing to get treated because of the late reports given. To all Ugandans, don't let stigma or discrimination discourage you, get tested."
Jonathan N Kamoga, an investigative journalist at the East African newspaper, who was one of the panelists emphasised information sharing about the virus. "If all people agree that HIV/AIDS demands urgent attention, then it's everyone's responsibility to disseminate the right information about the same. The moment we reserve responsibility to a particular category of people, a section of young people might wait in vain," he said.
Timothy Ochwo, another panelist in the discussion and the Co-founder of Hatua Uganda, an organization aiming at transforming young leaders through a hands-on approach, says that youth had better stop giving excuses of not using protection like condoms during sex. He added that those found negative should avoid risky behaviours and those positive should regularly take medication and avoid transmitting it to other people.
Hussein Musisi, the host and Chief Editor of @storm24seven said that the young people in Africa today are faced with multiple challenges ranging from unemployment, bad governance, poverty, poor health system but HIV/AIDS still rank high among the challenges. He then saw need for every human to stop looking at this issue lightly but move on to sensitize people on how one can avoid contracting HIV and how another can prevent spreading it from one person to another if found positive.
Lydia Nankinga, another female panelist said: "We should fight the scourge of AIDS, let's disseminate HIV knowledge without ceasing. Let's also prevent partner violence as that can prevent sexually transmitted infections. Yes we can achieve a zero new #HIV infections in 20 years to come."
In a phone conversation, Musisi said this discussion started on 1st December 2018 and will end on 6th December. This will sensitize more people on how best AIDS can cease among people.