The journey of the Y+ beauty pageant continued to the land of the Kyabazinga and Hon Kadaga in Kamuli district
the weekend of 16th – 17th October 2020; we started with a community dialogue on Friday 16th October, 2020 at
Kamuli District Disabled People’s Union (KAMDIPU) with 30 stakeholders which brought together teachers, health
workers, like minded SRHR-HIV partners, policy makers, representatives from the media fraternity, religious,
cultural and community opinion leaders among others to dialogue on the ongoing stigma and discrimination among
young people living with HIV/AIDS (YPLHIV) especially in Kamuli district.
The Guest of honor for the community dialogue was one of the 11 chiefs of the Obwa’Kyabazinga bwa Busoga led
by HRH. WW Nadhiope IV, HRH Patrick Izimba Gologolo Ngobi of Kigulu chiefdom who was escorted by his
Prime Minister Terwane Grace.
The main topic of discussion in the dialogue rotated around the social drivers for stigma and discrimination of
YPLHIV. Mr. Brian Ibanda the District Coordinator of YPLHIV in Kamuli reiterated that implementing partners need
to strengthen efforts to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS starting from prevention as well as care and management for
PLHIV he said, “Very few people actually know their status, and even fewer know that they can live positively
healthy. Everyone looks at you like you committed a crime getting the Virus. There is a very big gap in programming
and inclusivity,” Ibanda said. He commended interventions like the Y+ beauty pageant that frontline YPLHIV in the
fight towards ending HIV in Uganda by 2030.
Prince Wako Isabirye the District HIV Focal Health Person of Kamuli added his voice to mention that HIV stigma is
expressed in many cruel ways but is all rooted in a general lack of information, he said that, ‘Someone getting
stigmatised is either not informed or the society has no knowledge of HIV, If and when we talk about the effects and
the negative sides of HIV, stigma can be swept away,”
The dialogue also had presence from the law enforcement agencies ASP Nakyesa Kulusumu of the Police Child
protection unit said that stigma in Kamuli starts with men not wanting to know their status because they fear being
discriminated by their peers, Miss Kauma Connie the Senior lady teacher of Busoga High School added her voice to
many by first of all accepting that indeed there is HIV stigma and discrimination in schools and it is quite a lot. Miss
Kauma however, blamed this stigma to ignorance among young people as well as lack of proper funding for the HIV
fight especially in rural areas. She strengthened the need for the government to fund the HIV response such that
conversations can reach to all people in schools, communities and other public places,
In his speech, the Guest of Honor, HRH Patrick Izimba Gologolo Ngobi of Kigulu Chiefdom reminded
participants that Busoga region is ranked second with 25% teenage pregnancies and these are highly exposed to
HIV/AIDS since they go out for unprotected sex. “Allow me to appreciate UNYPA for earlier coming up with the
launch on condom use to reduce on the high increase of teenage pregnancies and protecting against the
transmission of sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV/AIDS and again they are here on ending HIV/AIDS
related stigma and discrimination to those that are both infected and affected by HIV/AIDS,” HRH Patrick Izimba
Gologolo said in his speech at the dialogue. He further said that we all have a part to play when it comes to fighting
HIV Stigma and discrimination urging all stakeholders to pick up the mantle and join the fight against the same.
“Remember the road to ending HIV stigma starts at home. Leading by example helps get closer to a stigma free
future for all,” HRH Patrick Izimba said. “When people are afraid of experiencing discrimination, they are less likely
to be tested or treated for HIV/AIDS,” He added.
We ended the day with a community service event at Kamuli Central Market where we distributed over 500 pieces
of male and female condoms, conducted condom education and demonstration as part of our campaign to increase
access and utilization of condoms among young people in the region. We also cleaned the market leaving the
community in a clean, safe environment to thrive, we discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic the need for
constant sanitizing, temperature monitoring and masking at all times.
On 17th October, 2020, Kamuli Youth Centre hosted the Eastern region auditions with 57 contestants all vying for
the spot of being the next big ambassador against Stigma and discrimination of YPLHIV, the three judges were;
Mairah Faith, Youth Country Coordinator (YCC) of the SRHR Alliance Mr. Lyagaba Moses the Assistant District
Health Officer (DHO) of Kamuli district, and Joseph Kakande our own Mr. Y+ Central region 2019/20.
The 2020/21 Y+ Northern region Kings and Queens:
- Miss Y+ Eastern: Phiona Mutonyi, 21 years from Mbale district,
- Mr. Y+ Eastern: William Okedi, 20 years from Pallisa district,
- Mr. Y+ first runner up: Norman Ntamu, 19 years from Mayuge district,
- 1st Runner Up Miss Y+: Kiiza Namusobya, 23 years, Jinja district
Our next stop is Kwania where we shall be conducting the Northern Region Y+ Beauty Pageant Auditions on 24th
October, 2020. Be sure to follow the hashtag, #ChangingTheNarrative #Ypluspageant20, also catch us live on our
face book page as we get to find out who will wear the crown.