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HIV/AIDS cases increase sharply in the camp

By Gaaniko Samson Jerry

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases in the Bidi-bidi refugee camp in Uganda have sharply increased according to Dr. John David working at the refugees health centre.

Dr. David said the figure has increased by 500 out of the 2758 persons living with HIV in the camp.

He stated that the number could be more since many people die silently due to stigma and the virus itself.

He said there are 26 HIV treatment units in Yumbe district which host Bidibidi camp.

“Stigma and discrimination is still the biggest challenge the district is facing to the victims of the persons living with the virus,” Dr. David stressed.

Poni Gloria, a South Sudanese refugee said, cultural believes contribute to increase of HIV/AIDS among South Sudanese in the camp.

“Here in the camp, children are affected and even mothers are delivering at homes even not going to the hospitals where the children can be born safely,” Gloria said.

Poni revealed that many people were not faithful to one partner.

Yusa Steven, also a refugee attributed the spread of the virus in the camp to economic hardship faced by the refugees.

She added most women depend on the food ratio where at times they sell to buy some of their daily needs.

“If the food ratio is not enough to be sold they have to look for money from men where sometimes they are forced for sex after being given the money,” Steven added.

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