June 18, 2024

Religious leaders on the spot for discouraging HIV patients from adhering to treatment

By Denish Ongora (denish.ongora@vol.co.ug)


People living with HIV have blamed some religious leaders for discouraging them from adhering to treatment with claims of praying for their healing.

Speaking at a function to launch mobilization of people living with HIV to embrace treatment held at Silver Peak hotel, some of the people living with HIV said religious leaders who are praying for them have been telling them not to take their drugs.

Sharon Amongi, director of The Brave Initiative said she has witnessed five people who abandoned their HIV treatment upon advice from religious leaders and some have since died.

Susan Aciro, a Nurse attached to Lira Regional Referral hospital ART clinic decried stigma against people living with HIV.

Aciro also asked the government to initiate programs geared towards supporting the livelihood of people living with HIV.

Pastor Alfred Mario Okello asked people living with HIV to come out openly and disclose their status for them to be supported.

Pastor Jackson Ajoli from All Nations Gospel church said they have trained religious leaders from northern Uganda through Uganda Christian Action Network on handling people living with HIV but it is unfortunate that some of them have continued to discourage them from taking their drugs and using demeaning utterances against them.

Pastor Peter Okodo of PAG worship center asked people living with HIV to ignore what is said about them and focus on living a healthy life.