Government is set to hold the first-ever high-level Public lecture in memory of the Late Philly Bongole Lutaaya.
Lutaaya was a musician, but first prominent Ugandan in the 1980s to give a human face to HIV/AIDS. Before death due to AIDS, Lutaaya spent his last years writing songs about his battle with AIDS.
His songs and confessions brought new hope to Ugandans who had also contracted HIV/AIDS but had been stigmatised.
While addressing journalists at Media Centre on Wednesday Minister in Charge of the Presidency Esther Mbayo said Lutaaya will be remembered for the tireless work he did in sensitising Ugandans about AIDS in the time Ugandans knew little about AIDS.
“Before World AIDS Day, we have organised another high-level Public lecture in memory of the Late Philly Bongole Lutaaya. It will be held on Friday 29th November at Imperial Royale Hotel and is being organised to recognise Lutaaya’s selfless effort in breaking the stigma and discrimination around HIV/AIDS,” said Mbayo.
The lecture will be under the theme “Sustainability of Uganda’s HIV and AIDS response beyond 2020.’
It is aimed at providing an opportunity to explore possibilities of increasing domestic financing for Uganda’s HIV/AIDS response.
According to Mbayo, the Keynote speaker will be Dr Alex Coutinho an experienced Global health leader who has practised medicine and public health in Africa for the past 35 years.
Mbayo said Ugandans need to know that HIV/AIDS has no cure and the available drugs, although save lives and enable one to be productive and live a near-normal life, they are taken for life.
“Therefore it is always safer to refrain from any form of risky behaviour. I also want to remind the men to embrace HIV testing as the only way of ensuring that they remain healthy. I, therefore, call upon all Ugandans to adopt a good health-seeking behaviour such as HIV testing, counselling, screening for cervical cancer, family planning, exercise, balanced diet among others,”
She also emphasised the strategy of combining both preventions, Care and treatment. Also asked everyone to test for HIV to know their status. If they found HIV negative then avoid all the risks that may predispose them to get infected with HIV. And for those found to be HIV positive, she asked them to get enrolled on treatment immediately.
Meanwhile, celebrations to mark International Aids Day on December 1 will be held in Kayunga district. According to Mbayo, Kayunga was chosen due to high HIV prevalence which currently stands at 7.6 per cent, high presence of most-at-risk populations including the Fisher-folk and migrant workers, as well as high teenage pregnancy currently which is currently at 24 per cent.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the Chief Guest at the event and the nation under the theme ‘Engaging Young People to champion the end of new HIV infections.’
According to current statistics, young people continue to be the main focus because they comprise the majority of the Ugandan population. Young people (15-24 years) also contribute 34 per cent of new HIV infections annually.
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