A recent study has revealed how People Living with HIV (PLHIV) struggled to keep up with their medication especially in the early stages of the Covid19 pandemic in Uganda.
The study shows that when government rolled out a blanket Covid19 shutdown, many HIV patients found themselves in situations where they had to disclose their status, which forced most off them to abandon medication.
This was especially so when public transport was banned, and those who required to go to hospitals had to get travel permit from the RDCs.
Dr Lydia Mungherera, the founder and CEO of Mamas Club and a representative to various Civil Society Organisations revealed that PLHIV who needed to get refills and treatment from other infections were traumatised, as they had to disclose their status to the RDCs, to be permitted to go to their refill centres and this exposed their HIV Status.
“You had to go to the RDC and tell him you need a car to go to hospital and get an ARVs refill. You had to disclose their status and that was terrible for many people living with HIV who don’t want to disclose their status.”
Furthermore, she said that the Civil Society witnessed cases where these patients would not access medical services because of the fear of disclosure as the society holds different perspectives on them.
“People look at people living with HIV differently and for some people, it takes them time to disclose their HIV status to a stranger who is not even a medical person, as they don’t know where that information is going to go,” she said.
Besides treatment, PLHIV also need counselling, yet counselling services were closed.
“They need to talk to somebody to avoid depression and some of them get side effects from their drugs.