Some People Living with HIV/AIDS in Bududa district are selling life-prolonging Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARVs) to cattle keepers, especially those involved in fattening bulls.
Bududa district has over 500 people enrolled on ARVs, which they receive after every four months. Esther Wambewo, one of the People Living With HIV, says that she is forced to sell some ARVs to cattle farmers to get what to eat. She said she sells each packet at 20,000 Shillings.
Peter Wambewo another patient, says that he has ever sold ARVs because whenever he would take them, he would become more ill. He says that his body cells would become weaker, something that prompted him to sell the ARVs.
Deborah Nekesa, the HIV focal person Bududa district acknowledges the reports of the sale of ARVs to cattle traders. She says that some of the caretakers sell drugs they receive for children under their care, which affects their treatment.
Paul Nature, a Cattle farmer, says that instead of giving his bulls multivitamin injections to boost their appetite to eat, they have now resorted to giving them ARVs. He says that this helps the bulls to improve their appetite and fatten.
Asked where he got the advice to use ARVs to fatten his bulls, Nature said he was advised by one of the vet officers in his village he didn’t disclose. Dr. Felix Odongo, the Bududa District Production Officer condemned the act of giving ARVs to cattle.
He said there are specialized drugs for cattle and ARVs are not among them. Godfrey Nambale, the assistant Bududa District Health Officer condemned the act, saying whoever is involved in it should stop, saying what they are doing exposes the lives of the meat consumers to danger.
This is not the first time Ugandan farmers are giving their animals ARVs. For long piggery farmers in various parts of the country have been using ARVs to fatten their pigs against the advice of health experts.