Clinician in lab

Children below 15 years of age living with HIV/AIDS are not showing signs of signs of low viral load suppression despite the fact that they are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), according to officials the Aids Support Organisation, Gulu Branch.

The officials attribute the challenge to various factors like stigmatisation and lack of close support from the caretakers.

Martin Opok , a clinical officer at the facility says due stigmatisation, most children who are in high schools tend to dodge taking their medication as they fear being seen by their close friends.  “That’s the most hindering factor frustrating the suppressions of viral load in people living with HIV/AIDS,” he says.

Mildred Obirizeno, a child and adolescence counselor says it is high time parents began to take up responsibility of close monitoring of the sick children as well as effecting  timely and consistent medication of the sick children.

She says school heads should ensure that they support the children especially in providing food rich in diets as well as counselling them time and again so as not to lose hope.

Currently, Taso Gulu has a total 456 children on Anti-retroviral therapy. 115 of them are registering unsuppressed Viral Load of which 66 of them are under five years, while 15 are between the ages of 5 to 14 years.