Abstract - Journal of Plant Biotechnology and Microbiology (2020) Volume 0, Issue 0
Use of social media to increase SRHR services and HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and support among the Young LGBTS in Kampala City. A Case Study in Uganda.
Research shows that young LGBTS in Kampala have less access to HIV information, testing and support thereby being at a risk of HIV infections. Vijana Na Children foundation-Uganda (VINACEF) used social media to provide access to information and support services. This study focussed on observing whether youth LGBTS who access HIV information can seek testing and support from ‘’friendly’’ providers. VINACEF approached leaders of LGBTS who helped us to identify LGBTS peers (60 in total aged 19-25 and 40 were male). VINACEF trained them as peer educators in prevention and support. It enrolled them on social media to help with rolling out the opening of peers’ accounts and orienting them on usage. VINACEF peer educators issued coupons to enable ‘’peers’’ for access internet periodically. Educators started social media discussions on HIV awareness and support. Peer Educators issued referrals/treatment vouchers to enable LGBTS peers access free services and more information in ‘’friendly’’ centres. A data tracking tool was developed/ used to collect data periodically, analysed it to come up with results. A total of 948 peers were reached during the study. 43% HIV/AIDS related risks awareness, prevention and care among young LGBTS was realised from 51% at baseline. 35% of the target peers had social media accounts at baseline compared to 98% at the end of the study. 91% MSM compared to 71% WSW ably used social media to share concerns with ‘’their peers’’. 61% wSW picked coupons to access testing services compared to 89%MSM. At baseline 42% believed that circumcision stops HIV transmission compared to 8% at the end of the study. 13% of enrolled peers tested positive to HIV, enrolled on ART program and support groupsAuthor(s): Ssembatya Benard