HIV/AIDS Overview

Busia District is the Ugandan part of the Busia agglomeration, divided by the Ugandan/Kenyan border. As a busy border town and commercial market center, Busia faces a highly fluctuating and steadily increasing population. For this reason, urban environmental and social problems are more challenging than in other towns of comparable size. As a District on the common trans-national route, this makes it a multi-ethnical, multi-religious, and multi-language melting pot. Together with the enormous rural-urban migration, particularly from North-Eastern Uganda, the cultural diversity is enhanced, which is not only a great opportunity for the District but also a great challenge due to the different cultures of settlers. There are many complicating and interrelated aspects; population mobility and migration are thought to be key factors that bear the brunt on HIV prevalence and incidence rates. Due to the disruption of social norms and political and economic instability associated with mobility, these populations in the border are often facing food shortages, physical and physiological insecurity and abuse, extreme poverty, poor hygiene, lack of education and other hardships. Most women and children are often the most vulnerable and bear the brunt of these hardships. Women and girls in such situations are forced to submit to sexual abuse and have little choice other than voluntarily trading sex for economic survival.

The need to bring together positive living young people from across the district and sister service providers with an aim of empowering, motivating and considerably increasing creativity and innovativeness among them is vital in the fight against HIV infection in the District. YES seeks to create transformation among young people, in line with the new National HIV/AIDS response strategy of getting to zero, as well as building a volunteer force that can respond to their needs but also with a consolidated capacity to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable peers. 

The Youth Environment service, over the years since 2000, has taken a leading role in condom education and promotion, however we have noted a gap in the social wellbeing of young people living with HIV/AIDS in Busia district since most organization and government health facilities focus on treatment and care only and none of them is looking at how to support them fight other social challenges that endanger their health and adherence to drugs.

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