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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia State: Study Finds Problem Drinking Linked To HIV, Other Sexually Transmitted Infections In Ugandan Youth

Youth living in the slums of Uganda who are infected with both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections are more likely to engage in problem drinking, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

HIV prevalence among individuals living in Uganda is high (6.5 percent), and Uganda is one of the few countries where HIV rates are increasing rather than decreasing. However, HIV prevalence is even higher among youth living in the slums of Kampala. They are vulnerable because of food scarcity, lack of parental oversight and limited infrastructure.

Having both HIV and a sexually transmitted infection, known as co-infection, may result in severe complications, including increased mortality, challenges with treating HIV and increased transmission of HIV. This public health matter warrants urgent attention, and it’s important to identify risk factors associated with co-infection of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Ugandan youth to reverse this trend.

Overall, 13.8 percent of youth (ages 12 to 18) living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda reported having HIV and 42.8 percent reported having a sexually transmitted infection. Among those living with HIV, 72 percent reported having another sexually transmitted infection, such as herpes or syphilis. This is nearly seven times higher than co-infection percentages among people living with HIV in other areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

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