Masaka- Lack of moral values and premarital sex have been blamed for escalating HIV/Aids infection rates among adolescents in Masaka District.
Ms Robinah Ssentongo, the director of Kitovu Mobile Aids Organisation, a local NGO, revealed that according to a survey made in Kyannamukaaka Sub-county by her organisation, the prevalence rate was discovered to be at 16 per cent, and more than double the national figure of about 7.3 per cent.
Ms Ssentongo attributed this to general complacency and people’s refusal to pay attention to the core principles of abstinence and remaining faithful. She also said it has become much harder to persuade adolescents to avoid risky behaviour.
Ms Ssentongo said her organisation has come up with a project to reduce HIV infections which will involve forming 90 youth groups of about 25 members each and introduce a sports tournament punctuated with health camps during which the youth will be sensitised about the importance of testing and counselling.
Ms Bernadette Nansubuga, one of the adolescents from Bulegeya Village in Kyannamukaaka Sub-county agreed with Ms Ssentongo and said premarital sex leads to dropping out of school, teenage parenthood and prostitution which multiplies HIV infections. She also blamed parents for neglecting their role of inculcating good morals to their offspring.