Home News Mak Study Kisoboka Shows Promising Results in HIV Fight

Mak Study Kisoboka Shows Promising Results in HIV Fight

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In a bid to find a lasting solution to the yet-to-end HIV/AIDS burden in the country, scientists at Makerere University rolled out a survey dubbed Kisoboka on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The study which targeted fishing communities found that the HIV prevalence is between 30% and 40%.

This according to the study is due to Heavy alcohol use being common in these communities and is associated with poor HIV care engagement and treatment adherence among people living with HIV (PLWH).

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The study aimed to reduce alcohol consumption, increase Anteriteralviral Treatment (ART) adherence to HIV treatment, and improve the general welfare of male fisherfolk between the ages of 18-50 in the Wakiso district.

The study presented findings today on 18th, April 2023 at Hotel Africana on the effects of Kisoboka, an alcohol and HIV care engagement intervention that integrated the behavioral economic principle of delayed reward discounting and economic strengthening through easily accessible mobile money-related services.

The intervention was able to reduce alcohol use among male fisherfolk, and saving money using financial services with a soft commitment was found to reduce impulsive and unnecessary spending on alcohol.

In fact, saving money via mobile money or a bank account was associated with lower-risk drinking, drinking less frequently, lower AUDIT scores, and perceived ease of access to HIV treatment services.
The study also highlights the issue of economic insecurity partially attributable to income expenditure on alcohol and lack of access to structural savings.

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This issue is particularly prevalent in fishing communities where “cash in the pocket” can lead to impulsive spending on alcohol and other non-essential items. However, EBIs that promote savings and reduce impulsive spending could increase money for HIV care and healthy living, and improve Anteriteralviral Treatment (ART) adherence.

The study’s key findings underscore the need for screening for alcohol use among fisherfolk populations and sudden intervention for men living with HIV in these populations. Additionally, the study found very high levels of alcohol use among the male fisherfolk population, highlighting the need for more intense interventions.

Dr. Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye, a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Bio-statistics, noted that alcohol consumption was reduced more in the intervention arm compared to other places.

Dr. Mbona said that the Kisoboka study presents a promising intervention that integrates behavioral economic principles and mobile money-related services to reduce alcohol consumption, increase savings, and improve ART adherence among male fisherfolk in the Wakiso district.

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“The findings underscore the need for more evidence-based interventions to address alcohol use and HIV care engagement in tandem among Ugandans,” he said

Meanwhile, Dr. Tusime Patrick, the Commissioner Department of Communicable Diseases, Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, emphasized the importance of these findings in addressing the burden of alcohol and substance abuse, particularly in light of the high burden of HIV among female adolescents in fishing communities.

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