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Declining Condom Use Worries Activists as Uganda Remembers Philly Lutaaya

Philly Lutaaya is remembered today for being the first prominent Ugandan, a celebrated musician to give a human face to HIV/AIDS in Uganda at the time when there was a lot of stigma for a disease hitherto cushioned in myths.

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Only 9 per cent of men aged 40 to 49 years used a condom when they engaged in extramarital sex in 2018, according to Dr Daniel Byamukama, the head of the HIV Prevention division at the Uganda AIDs Commission. 

Byamukama said condom use is continuously declining from 38 per cent in 2000 to 24 per cent in 2018. He added that while the general prevalence of men aged 40 to 49 is 14 per cent, prevalence among men in this age bracket who engage in extramarital affairs is highest at 25 per cent. 

He said this should worry the country as its undoing previous awareness done by activists like Lutaaya and other interventions geared towards prevention of HIV which is highest among men of that age group who are believed to be giving young girls the virus. 

Dr Byamukama was speaking to journalists this morning as Uganda marked Philly Bongoley Lutaaya day. Philly Lutaaya is remembered today for being the first prominent Ugandan, a celebrated musician to give a human face to HIV/AIDS in Uganda at the time when there was a lot of stigma for a disease hitherto cushioned in myths. 

Before dying of AIDS in 1989 at the age of 38, Lutaaya had spent his remaining healthy time writing songs about his battle with AIDS and giving guidance on prevention to especially students as he engaged in campaigns that were taken to churches, schools and other public spaces. 

This morning Uganda Radio Network spoke to several people about what Philly Lutaaya’s contribution towards HIV prevention was and how his message is helping to today. 

Vicent Sebugwawo a Boda-boda cyclist had this to say.   

//Cue in; BanaUganda balina okuyiga...   

Cue out… tubeere begendereza.”//   

Dr Kirusa Karuga, the UNAIDS Uganda Country Representative said Lutaaya was calling for combined efforts to deal with HIV as a public health problem.   

//Cue in; Lutaaya is an...    

Cue out... protect their wives.” //   

She adds that in calling all people across the world to work together in fighting AIDS, Lutaaya left a strong message for generations to come.   

//Cue in; “I truly believe…

Cue out…. trying to do.”//   

Dr Vicent Bagambe, the Director Planning at Uganda AIDS Commission said young people should pick prevention lessons from Lutaaya’s opening up about HIV.    

//Cue in; when you look...   

Cue out… we should pick”. //

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