Sex for a fare motor cycle taxi ‘boda boda’ threaten Uganda’s fight against Aids

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Uganda’s motorbike taxis riders threaten to derail the country’s battle versus HIV because of dangerous sexual behaviours, which include intercourse with clients in lieu of payment, in accordance to a new research.

At the very least 12% of a sample of 281 industrial riders, a popular informal task recognized as boda boda and dominated by younger adult men, admitted to participating in transactional intercourse with buyers who failed to pay out their fares 65.7% noted acquiring had intercourse with additional than one particular lover in the previous 12 months and 23% had experienced various companions in the identical time period, with 57.1% reporting that they did not use a condom at all in the 6 months prior to the study, performed by Makerere College University of Education and learning and External Studies (CEES).

“Engaging with several sexual partners is a substantial-risk sexual behaviour, specially in the absence of condom use. It potential customers to sexually transmitted illnesses like HIV, and undesirable pregnancies,” said Lillian Mbabazi, a researcher at CEES, presenting the study findings at a workshop in the capital, Kampala, final 7 days. “It reveals a have to have to teach youthful Ugandans to have an understanding of unsafe and irresponsible sexual behaviour.”

The research was conducted in the districts of Wakiso and Namayingo.

“The revelation from this review, that shoppers who can’t pay for to shell out their provider freely present intercourse and a significant proportion are in fact partaking in dangerous sexual behaviours with various partners with no a condom, is concerning,” Daniel Byabakama, head of HIV prevention at the Uganda Aids Fee (UAC), reported.

“The HIV bacterial infections will unquestionably go up. The boda bodas want to know that HIV is nonetheless real and folks are nevertheless contracting the virus,” he claimed. Uganda has a 5.6% HIV prevalence amount.

“This examine is a wake-up simply call that if we retain on scaling down the targeting of these boda bodas as a high precedence, then we may well finish up in shock,” mentioned Byabakama.

“We must go on prioritising them, helping them and offering HIV avoidance companies, these kinds of as absolutely free condoms, so that they do not deal or transmit the virus.”

Some of the boda boda riders in Wakiso advised the Guardian that transactional intercourse and many sexual associates had been occupational hazards.

“What do you anticipate me to do with a client who simply cannot afford to pay for to shell out the rate and features you intercourse instead,” explained Patrick*, a boda boda rider at Kyaliwajjala. “I simply cannot just enable her go free of charge. Of program I will have sex with her in exchange.”

“Some of these clients are just stubborn and tempt us. The ladies deliberately refuse to pay and offer you a sexual intercourse deal. If you are fascinated, you drop and go for it,” reported Joseph*. “Of system, most of the time you could not be having a condom. You conclude up obtaining reside [unprotected] sexual intercourse.”

Byabakama mentioned it was a worrying picture: “We are looking at resurgence of lousy sexual behaviours between this group, they are possessing sexual intercourse with a number of sexual companions, they don’t 1st exam for HIV, and a fantastic number of them do not use condoms. This is stressing.

“They really don’t care about staying away from HIV simply because they think there are ARVs [antiretrovirals]. It is a misconception. We carry on to stimulate them to practise HIV prevention actions as we have often taught them. We need to have to rekindle and reinvigorate the marketing campaign.”Numerous sufferers use boda bodas to get to Maskaka regional referral healthcare facility. Photograph: Mile 91/Ben Langdon/Alamy

Paul Birevu Muyinda, deputy principal at CEES, stated the “nomadic” business was booming and used much more than 50% of men and women aged 18-35 in the east African nation, but riders confront myriad wellbeing challenges.

“The resolution is to organise and bring purchase to the field. Make it a safe and sound and gainful sector and deliver continual expert education aimed at bringing good behavioural change,” mentioned Muyinda.

“These job findings will go a prolonged way in aiding the govt to establish scientifically verified proof-primarily based interventions aimed at influencing behavioural modify of boda boda riders in Uganda,” said James Katunguka, road security officer at the ministry of transportation.

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