Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's blog it up...

It is ISP time! Yay! What is my project you may be asking? Well, I was hoping you could answer that for me. Just kidding...

This is part of my proposal because I am lazy and don't feel like rewording it.
The Effects of ARV Treatment on Patients’ Risky Sexual Behavior in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda


Uganda is often looked at as a model for HIV/AIDS reduction because of their very successful campaign to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The campaign started in the late 1980s, and has lost momentum since then. Currently, the HIV/AIDS prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate despite the increase in access to life-saving ARV treatment. Antiretroviral drugs have changed the perception of AIDS from a death sentence to a treatable, manageable disease. This change in the perception may have reduced the fear surrounding HIV; therefore, it could have led to an increase in risky sexual behavior. The research that will be conducted will look at the perception of HIV/AIDS and how the perception changes sexual behavior.


The history of HIV/AIDS in Africa has three distinct phases. The first stage was the rapid increase of HIV/AIDS in urban areas and areas along highways; especially in the Lake Victoria region. Doctors’ in this area began to call this disease “slim disease” because it caused people’s bodies to waste away. The first official diagnosis of AIDS came in 1982 and doctors’ quickly linked “slim disease” to HIV/AIDS. In 1986, when the civil war ended and President Museveni came into power, the first major HIV prevention program was founded. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS had become an epidemic by this time and affected 30 percent of people. In 1987, the first AIDS control program was set up to educate the citizens of Uganda on the ABC approach (abstain, be faithful, use condoms) to preventing HIV/AIDS. The program also ensured safety of blood supply and started HIV/AIDS surveillance. There was very strong political leadership that committed itself to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Along with the strong government programs to stop the epidemic, many grass-roots programs began. TASO, a community-based organization was formed in the late 1980s along with The AIDS Support Organization.
The second phase of the HIV/AIDS epidemic ran from 1992 to 2000. During these years the HIV prevalence fell from 30 percent to 5 percent. The decline was due in part to the ABC prevention method and the grass-roots movements. A majority of the reason is said to be because there was little treatment available, so the high-numbers of HIV/AIDS patients simply died out in this time period. In 1998, the Ugandan government ran a test trial to see if it was feasible to provide HIV/AIDS treatment to developing countries.
The third phase of HIV/AIDS in Uganda is the rise in HIV/AIDS prevalence. In 2004, free ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) were made available in Uganda. In 2006 the prevalence of HIV/AIDS jumped from about 5 percent to 7 percent. There are two popular theories to why the sudden increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence. The first theory is that Uganda’s shift away from ABC and towards abstinence might have caused the increase. The second theory is that ARVs have made HIV/AIDS a treatable, livable disease so people have lost the ambition to practice safe-sex.
The Problem Statement
The recent increase in ARV distribution in post-conflict Northern Uganda has also been met with an increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence. This could be attributed to a new misperception of HIV/AIDS as a minor life-long illness rather than a death sentence that HIV/AIDS used to be a mere ten years ago.


The reason of this research is to determine the cause of the steady increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence in post-conflict Northern Uganda. The data collected will be used to provide information on how to improve the use and distribution of ARVs. If risky sexual behavior is a cause to the rise of HIV/AIDS further research will have to be done on how to provide a more multifaceted treatment program that would target the issue of risky sexual behavior.

On to ISP time...

I am living with all the other students in a house near a place called Acholi Inn. I have been cooking which is fun. We had family dinner night where we attempted eggplant parmesan with pasta and no-bake cookies for desert. It went well. Last night we made mexican Acholi food, which meant chapati, rice, beans, and a gauc salsa... Delishhh.

I am heading home in a month and am really excited to see my mom and dad and my new kittens they got the day after i left which I am still bitter about, and of course my sister (but most important in this group is the kittens... just kidding family). I am going to cook dinner for them and start helping out around the house... now since it is in writing and announced to everyone who reads this it will be done.

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