High HIV prevalence threatens communities in Uganda’s oil rich Bunyoro sub-region.
Southwestern Uganda – Communities in the oil rich Bunyoro sub-region are living in fear due to high HIV prevalence rate especially in Hoima and Kikuube districts.
According to Hoima district health statistics, in 2012, Hoima district registered 1,689 new HIV infections which rose to 3,004 between 2012 and 2017, with the district recording 3,290 new infections last year.
Further statistics from the district health information system reveals that in 2013, 12,480 people were on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and the number increased to 14,260 in 2014 before reaching 15,524 in 2015. In 2016, 35,639 were on antiretrovirals (ARVs), in 2017 the number shot to 42,705 and last year, the number stood at 48,390. Hoima district HIV prevalence stood at 5.8% last year.
Oil companies have discovered over 6.5 billion barrels of oil on the shores of Lake Albert in western Uganda.
The oil industry has attracted expatriate workers, Ugandan workers, emigrants and businessmen who have arrived in hundreds in the formerly remote areas on the shores of Lake Albert where oil has been discovered.
This deadly HIV/AIDS escalation has been attributed to unprotected sexual practices in the area.
With a prevalence of 7.3%, Uganda had an estimated 1.6 million HIV infected people in 2013.