Uganda’s success against the spread of AIDS is threatened by the civil war in the north.

By December 16, 2004

Uganda (MNN) — Uganda is held as the model country for reducing the HIV infection rate, but the 18-year civil war in northern Uganda threatens that success.

Through the work of churches and aid groups like World Vision helping to implement abstinence education and HIV/AIDS prevention, Uganda’s infection rate since 1991 has dropped from 21.2 percent to the current 6.2 percent.

However, according to a report by World Vision, in parts of the north where the war is more concentrated, the HIV rates have increased to 11.9 percent, nearly double the rest of the country. The report is entitled “Pawns of Politics” and gives insight into the impact the Ugandan civil war has had on those in northern Uganda. The war has displaced many families from their homes in the northern region, having a devastating impact on children and families.

Many women, especially those in the displacement camps, find that they can only get food, soap or money in exchange for sex. Girls are often abducted by the rebel army and given to commanders as “wives” and sex slaves.

Churches and relief groups like World Vision are trying to combat these dire circumstances and meet the needs of the poor and displaced people of Northern Uganda.

Pray that peace will come to Uganda and that the many physical and spiritual needs of the people will be met in Christ through His church.

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