Saturday, 9 November 2013

Museveni takes first ever public HIV test

A doctor takes blood samples from President Museveni to be tested for HIV yesterday
A doctor takes blood samples from President Museveni to be tested for HIV yesterday at Kiswa Health Centre in Kampala. The President advised the public to go for HIV testing in order to plan well for their lives.


Kampala- The curious public trooped and the compound filled. By 10:00am Kiswa Health Centre in Bugolobi, Kampala, had turned into a beehive activity.
The crowds yarned and waited for President Museveni to arrive for his first ever public HIV test.
After all it is not every day that a head of state takes a public HIV test. The President finally arrived at 11:15am and headed straight to the dais. He took his place in one of the seats reserved for him and the First Lady.
The second seat remained glaringly vacant, making the curious crowd wonder where the other half of the First Couple was, until the President explained later that the First Lady, who was scheduled to take the same test with him, was unable to make it because of a backache.
“But I am here to represent her,” Mr Museveni mused. In his short speech, the President urged Ugandans to emulate him and go for HIV testing.
“Therefore all Ugandans should test, find out your status and let the State - that is the health workers - handle you accordingly,” he counselled.
He also cautioned the public against what he termed as “unnecessary risky behaviour”, a veiled reference to engaging in reckless sexual behaviour that is likely to expose them to HIV.
Prof Vinand Nantulya, the chairman Uganda Aids Commission, said the campaign was to encourage more people to test for HIV. “We are in a better place than ever before in history to manage HIV,” he said.
He said about five million Ugandans tested for HIV last year and this year the Uganda Aids Commission and the government expect the number to increase. According to Nantulya, 66 per cent of women aged above 15 have sought for voluntary testing compared to 55 per cent of men who voluntarily turn up.
The testing exercise yesterday lasted a few minutes and included a marathon counselling session followed by drawing of blood sample from Mr Museveni.