MUHANGA — The UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, has commended the Nyamabuye based association of former sex workers (Tubusezerere) for their initiatives in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region.
While visiting the former commercial sex workers over the weekend, Sidibé, said community based efforts are necessary to stem the Aids scourge.
“The association is a model of community based practices in HIV prevention…fighting stigma becomes easy and effective,” he said.
During his visit, he toured the associations’ income generating projects. He was accompanied by Aurelien Agbenonci, the UN Resident Representative, the National Aids Control Commission (CNLS) Director, Dr. Anita Asiimwe and others.
Sidibé also assured the members further support and advocacy.
He urged members of Tubusezerere to extend their activities to other areas, saying it restores hope for those affected.
“Our goal is to support the community to own activities geared towards change in order to curb this scourge,” he added.
Colette Murekatete, the chairperson of the Tubusezere, revealed that the association has managed to transform the lives of 161 women in Muhanga District.
At least 120 of them who are HIV positive receive antiretroviral drugs, while eight have been enrolled in school.
She added that all members can afford health insurance, education for their children and have accounts for personal savings.
Dr. Asiimwe, urged the women to assist in sensitising the community on Aids prevention, poverty eradication and family planning.
The UNAIDS official is in the country from August 27 to September 3.