In Uganda, the Karamoja were viewed as the lowest AIDS risk in the country. As they were strongly rooted in old traditions, and nomadic in nature, their chances of catching HIV from other groups were fairly low as recent as five years ago. Unfortunately, the swift urbanization of Uganda, turning small towns in to cities, caused this ethnicity to finally settle. Forming residences in urban Uganda and interacting with other people in the area have caused this overlooked racial group to become of the swiftest growing risks in the area.
Unfortunately, their age old, deep roots in tradition also make them some of the most hesitant to accept the help that outside charities and American organizations have to offer. Due to the dangerous areas the Karamoja have settled themselves, even locally trained Ugandans leave after only a few weeks of working with this highly at risk group. Americans simply won’t work in conditions necessary to bring relief to these people.
It’s very unfortunate, but in a developing area like Uganda, it’s possible that not much can be done to assist the Karamoja until they are ready to ask for help themselves. Luckily, this will not stop doctors from trying to help. It goes to show that not everything about rising urban areas can be predicted, and when dealing with a dangerous subject like AIDS, everyone should be treated as equally at risk.