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Stigma Driving Youth in Northern Uganda to Suicide

Young People Living with HIV/AIDs have accused medics being at the centre of stigmatising, a complaint borne out by social workers in the region.

The young positive youths raised their accusation against medical personnel on Sunday at Kwania District Headquarters during the 7th edition of Y+ Northern Uganda Beauty Pageant contest organized by UNYPA, an association that brings together the young positive.

Due to stigma, Olga Amuka, the program Manager, Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS says, many young positive are forced to abandon medication, while some commit suicide as a result of psychological torture by the some medical workers, parents and some members of the community.

To reduce stigmatisation by the very people expected to treat and help the patients, Dr Peter Boi Odongo, the Assistant District Health Officer Kwania district, suggests that the medical workers should use carefully selected words when dealing with their clients.

In 2016, 73% of new HIV infections among adolescents occurred in Africa. Estimates suggest that as many as 740,000 additional adolescents could become infected between 2016 and 2030 according to the World Health Organisation.

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