The trends in HIV prevalence in Uganda according to the Ministry of Health Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey Report 2011 indicates that the overall HIV Prevalence among women and men aged 15-49 has increased from 6.4% in the 2004-05 UHSBS to 7.3%. From the age of 15-39, women have higher HIV prevalence than their male counterparts and the data reveals that 37% of Uganda Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) are HIV positive.
It is believed that most of the Commercial Sex Workers fall within this trend of age. Most of these people are school drop outs, others are widowed women and some of them are infected with HIV/AIDS. When the health community workers of Integrated Family Care Support Uganda (IFACASU) interacted with them in the process of HIV counseling and testing, condom distribution at their place of work they said “it is not our pleasure to get engaged in such kind of work, but it’s because of persistent poverty that forces us to practice such. When we get a chance to be trained in entrepreneurship skills in terms of initiating our own income generating activities/projects, we can gradually abandon this kind of work because it is very tiresome and it’s not worthy as a job, and death is always at our hands since most of our clients do not want to have protected sex with us.” Nakamatte their chairperson explained.
It is therefore against this background that IFACASU is in the process of training 50 out of 150 identified CSWs in entrepreneurship skills for purposes of giving them a better alternative of income generating activities/projects thus reducing on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Mukono District.
This training is a pilot project and it is being financed by the Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative for Community Action on AIDS at the Local Level (AMICAALL) and it will take three months at a reputable vocational training institute in Mukono Municipality. IFACASU as the leading agency of Mukono District Network of AIDS service organizations (MUDNASO) is soliciting funds totaling to 50 million Uganda shillings from well wishers, development partners in order to empower the identified and trained CSWs to initiate their own businesses and abandon commercial sex work.
IFACASU has had routine dialogues and interactions with these people since they always seek advice, collect condoms, come in for HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT), voluntary counseling and testing from the organization.
The organization is seeking to partner with individuals, development partners, national or international organizations to give a hand and further their projects and programs in communities.