Disabled people living with HIV/AIDS in Kampala have denounced the strong centralization of HIV care services in urban areas, the stigmatization and the lack of jobs which have made life unbearable for them.
These remarks came as the Tunaweza Foundation, an NGO that works in communities to improve equal opportunities for people with disabilities, launched a year-long project titled: “Improving People’s HIV Response Prospects disabilities”.
The intervention funded by PEPFAR small grants and the US Mission targets 150 beneficiaries in Kawempe Division, Kampala. The project has received funding of 52 million shillings.
The project aims to provide inclusive HIV/AIDS care and counseling for people with disabilities.
Speaking to the Nile Post shortly after the launch of this initiative, Laura Kanushu Opori, MP for People with Disabilities, said the perception that people with disabilities are not sexually active is one of the biggest challenges people face. with disabilities are living with HIV.
“We need to address the issue of access to information for people with disabilities regarding sexual and reproductive health issues specifically for women. The laws we have passed are working. Let’s make sure they let’s make sure hospitals have provisions for people with disabilities,” she said.
Victo Nalule, Executive Director of the Tunawea Foundation, said the initiative taken will ensure that targeted beneficiaries receive inclusive and appropriate HIV-related services.
“Leaving no one behind is what the Tunaweza Foundation is all about. It’s what we’re working on today to ensure that people living with disabilities have better access to HIV care. and related services,” she said.
Mary Borgman, PEPFAR’s national coordinator, said the intervention has the potential to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities as well as those living with HIV/AIDS.
A 2020 report from the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development and household surveys indicate that 8.5% of Ugandans have a disability.
And according to TASO’s client registry, there are more than 15,000 people with disabilities in Kampala and Wakiso registered for HIV care. This number does not cover people who obtain their HIV care from other entities or even from other districts.