A study by Nsamizi Training Institute of Social Development has revealed that at least 93 per cent of adolescents out of school in Iganga district are sexually active at the age of 10-19 years.
73 per cent of their counterparts in school are also sexually active which means only 27 per cent of children in school are abstaining from sex.
Released last week at the AfriChild dissemination conference at Golf Course hotel in Lugogo, Kampala, the report quoted by The Observer notes that interviewed children said they started their sexual debuts between five and nine years [5-9].
One of the researchers and presenter of the findings, Bernadette Naggayi, said some children even dared to demonstrate to the doubting interviewers.
The research was analysed and reviewed by experts from Gulu University Ethics Committee and the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST).
Only adolescents aged 15-19 were interviewed and these, she said, fully understood what sex is.
More-out-of school adolescents (43%) reported using condoms as an HIV prevention method compared to 17 per cent of those in school.
Thirteen per cent of adolescents in school said they were faithful to their partners and only seven per cent for those out of school.
20 per cent of the children in school were receiving antiretrovirals treatment for HIV/Aids and out of the sampled students, 73 per cent said they had been supported by their parents to seek for HIV services.
Mbarara underage prostitutes
In Mbarara Town, young girls between 13 and 17 years are already working as sex workers in Kijungu and Kishenyi in Kakoba Division, Biafra and Rwebikona in Kamukuzi and Ruti in Nyamitanga divisions.
Baker Ategyeka, 67, a resident of Kijungu, told Daily Monitor that older women mobilise some of these girls to work as prostitutes.
The women are referred to as ‘aunties’ by the girls, who work in collaboration with bar and lodge owners.
Men pay Shs50,000 to the auntie or some times Shs100,000 and the auntie who is the negotiator later pays the girl.
Ategyeka, who always interacts with the girls, says the auntie pays them between Shs10,000 and Shs20,000 for every customer. One can have more than 10 girls under her management.
The mayor, Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, told Monitor they are aware of the practice and have been working with police to curb it.
The Rwizi regional police spokesperson, Samson Kasasira, says the practice is hard to fight because it is extremely secretive.