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HIV Education and Empowerment A program for the Women of Kiryabicooli, Uganda

Abstract Background: HIV continues to be a serious health, social and economic burden in Uganda. Early in the epidemic, the government’s rapid response brought the HIV infection rates from 30% in the 1990s to 4% by 2000, however rates are rising with some district’s reporting the HIV rate rising up to 7.8%. Myths surrounding transmission, disease progression and treatment compound the country’s vulnerability. The goal of this Quality Improvement project is to educate women with children under 13 years old about the facts of HIV, in the hopes that with that knowledge they can take action to decrease their own infection rates as well as their children’s. Methods: An HIV education curriculum was used for women who have children under the age of 13. The women who chose to participate received a pre-training test with questions related to HIV transmission, testing, and treatment. Results: Thirty women from the three villages with close proximity to the Health Clinic in Uganda were the participants. Each woman completed all three class sections as well as completing the pre and post-tests. The pre and post-test scores were rated and found to have discrepancies in the individual identifiers. Because of this, it was impossible to determine score changes for individual participants. Instead, the trends were noted to determine value of the classes themselves. Conclusion: Women were empowered through education about the HIV facts to help them to protect themselves. Secondly, the mothers will become health educators to their children. The relationship of trust and love between mother and child can empower the next generation to be armed with the truth, effectively protecting themselves from the virus and in doing so, decrease the rates of HIV infection in this area.
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