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A young man dances next to me. He is Alfred, an engineering student. I hesitate. But I say it. Alfred breaks into a toothpaste-ad grin. Mine is going to be the first AIDS-free generation. But things are better now. But not here. He knew the prevalence rates. He made it a personal issue for himself and his peers. He acknowledged the suffering. He was having a good time, drank Fanta and did not appear to be looking for casual sex.
Behaviour change, the key to AIDS control, is a reality. Generally, Ugandans are having less casual sex and commercial sex, delay their first sexual encounters and have fewer partners. Among unmarried youth aged , 8 out of 10 reported not having had a sexual partner in the previous year. The median age at first sex has been rising, especially among males. In it was For women, Condom use has risen, especially with non-regular partners. By , the number of people exchanging sex for money in Kampala and Jinja had been halved.
No other country in Africa has been so open. Openness encouraged public debate, broke down taboos on discussing sex and sexuality, and encouraged acceptance of HIV-positive people. It mobilised international support and enabled officials, politicians and civil society to tackle the epidemic.
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