The Karimojong nomads of northeastern Uganda, once regarded as a low-risk group for HIV because of geographic isolation and cultural strictures, have seen a significant rise in HIV rates—from 3.5 percent five years ago to 5.8 percent today, PlusNews reports. Medical services are limited in the region. The few hospitals are difficult to access because of long distances and political instability, and there are intermittent shortages of antiretroviral drugs as well as a lack of staff trained in HIV treatment and care. The Karimojong are also hindered by poor education—only 30 percent of Northeastern women and 45 percent of men are knowledgeable about HIV. Cultural issues also pose challenges, in that sex is not a matter for open discussion, health services aren’t accessed unless food is made available, and stigma discourages those who test positive from returning for treatment.
To read the PlusNews article, click here.