Our survey found a community in need…
In August 2016, MRF conducted a baseline survey to better understand the types and magnitude of challenges faced by the youth and young people living with HIV community in western Uganda. The striking results depicted a population severely under served by health care providers, employers, and educators.
- 85% surveyed were unemployed
- 75% faced discrimination and have no shelter and food
- 85% are being denied health services
- 95% never belonged to any organization which means they lacked information, support, help, lacked health rights awareness and many things
… facing a crisis of access in education, health care, and employment
The experience young people living with HIV is one fraught with discrimination, stigmatization, and hate crimes, Mob justice, human rights violations, inhumane treatment, and unequal access to basic human rights such as health care, education, and shelter are all too common.
Access to healthcare for young people living with HIV Ugandans is often characterized by extreme stigma. Denial of service by health care providers has resulted in an increase of HIV infections, STD diagnoses and mortality rates. The experience is one opposed to that requirement “to never discriminate when providing service” stated in almost every heath care facility in Uganda. The outdated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-II), cites young people with HIV as a mental disorder, and continues to be used to train health care workers in Uganda. Uganda’s HIV prevalence has been on the rise since 2005, unlike almost every other country in the world. Over the past five years the rate has increased from 6.4 to 7.3%continuing to discriminate against sexual and gender minorities will only make this figure continue to increase.
Employment discrimination also disproportionately affects members of the Young people living with HIV Ugandans.