Home Health Youth Gain Access to Expanded Contraceptive Choices in Uganda

Youth Gain Access to Expanded Contraceptive Choices in Uganda

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youth gain access to expanded contraceptive choices in uganda
youth gain access to expanded contraceptive choices in uganda
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The GILO Young Positives Foundation, a youth-led charity organization founded in 2023 by young people affected by HIV/AIDS, is taking significant steps to provide better reproductive health options for young people living with HIV.

For young individuals with HIV, making informed decisions about family planning has been challenging due to limited contraceptive options. The GILO Foundation aims to change this by offering a variety of contraception methods, including condoms, oral contraceptives, injectables, intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormonal implants, and emergency contraception.

The foundation’s founder, Gloria Nawanyaga, believes that expanding contraceptive options for young people living with HIV is a crucial step toward improving their reproductive health and family planning. She emphasizes the importance of offering comprehensive counseling and community engagement to empower these individuals in making informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.

To commemorate World Contraception Day on September 26, the GILO Young Positives Foundation held an open discussion webinar on empowering young people living with HIV and broadening their contraceptive choices. The primary goal of this discussion was to reduce the risk of HIV transmission from infected individuals to their partners or potential children.

Trevor Emojel, Mr. Y+ 2022, highlights the ongoing issue of HIV-related stigma in Uganda, which can discourage young people with HIV from seeking sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptives. Emojel stresses the importance of fostering open and non-judgmental discussions about sexual health.

Expanding contraceptive choices allows young people to select methods that align with their health and family planning goals while reducing the risk of HIV transmission. For instance, promoting dual protection by combining condoms with antiretroviral therapy (ART) significantly decreases the chances of transmission during sexual activity, as noted by Adeniji Ayodeji David, the secretary for the Association of Positive Youth Living with HIV in Nigeria.

World Contraception Day, established in 2007, aims to raise awareness about contraception and empower young people to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

One significant challenge highlighted is the cost of contraceptives, which can be prohibitive for many young people, especially those not covered by health insurance. Emojel suggests that government funding to subsidize the cost of contraceptives, particularly for vulnerable populations like young people living with HIV, can make them more affordable or even free at public healthcare facilities.

According to the National Family Planning Cost Implementation Plan (CIP) II (2021/22–2024/25), the funding need for Family Planning commodities is $332.3 million, while the government’s commitment to the reproductive health supplies budget over this period is only $25 million.

Dr. Allan Kasozi, the senior medical officer of Adolescent and School Health at the Ministry of Health, stresses the importance of training health workers to maintain privacy and confidentiality for young people living with HIV. Concerns about privacy breaches can discourage them from accessing contraceptives.

The primary objective of these discussions is to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV from an infected individual to their partner or child, contributing to better reproductive health outcomes for young people living with HIV in Uganda.