HIV+ children face stigma in school – Mukwaya


The minister said mothers are scared of revealing to their children that they are infected

Children living with HIV/AIDS are being stigmatized in schools and this has forced them to hide whenever it’s time to take their daily dosage of the medicines, Janat Mukwaya the minister of gender, labour and social development, has revealed.

She revealed that during a meeting she held with people living with HIV/AIDS, young people said that stigma is rife in their schools. They are being stigmatized by the teachers and school matrons.

“None of us here may have thought that this is still a challenge. In reality it is yet the population of youth living with HIV/AIDS is high,” she said.

Mukwaya, who was speaking at the 2nd annual social development sector review at the Golf Course Hotel on Wednesday, said that parents living with the disease are also grappling with how to reveal to their children that they too have the disease and need to get started on medication.

She said that the mothers are scared of revealing to their children that they are infected and also fear that if they do not reveal it, then the children might learn of it from a third party.

“This is a serious challenge to the social development sector. We must look up at our parenting guidelines and see how we can help parents open up to their children and also help children not be mad at the parent after revealing the disease,” she said.

She stated that her ministry will have to work closely with the ministry of education and health in order to help these communities to cope with the disease.

In 2016, the ministry of health statistics showed that about 1.46million Ugandans are living with HIV.

In 2016, the adult HIV prevalence stood at 6.5%.

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