Health
Uganda plans drug boost for AIDS fight
Publish Date: Jan 31, 2014
Uganda plans drug boost for AIDS fight
A CD4 Machine at Kibito Health Centre IV
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KAMPALA - Uganda's government is planning to double expenditure on anti-retroviral drugs in an effort to reverse a worsening trend in HIV infections, a senior health official said Thursday.

The doctor in charge of the health ministry's AIDS control programme, Alex Ario, told AFP that over the next year some 1.3 million people will have free access to ARVs, compared to the 600,000 currently being treated.

Uganda was once heralded as a success story in the fight against HIV, with President Yoweri Museveni being among the first African leaders to speak openly about AIDS and the government mounting a highly successful public awareness campaign in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Infection rates initially dropped from double to single digits, but according to the most recent statistics, from 2011, the national prevalence rate rose to 7.3 percent from 6.4 percent in 2004-05 -- with health officials blaming increased complacency.

"We want to make HIV not a health problem anymore," the doctor said, explaining the drive would target those who have a low CD4 cell count -- or the type of cells that fight infection -- as well as the groups most at risk, such as sex workers, truckers and fishing communities.

"If we identify those who are positive early, put them on treatment early, we are going to reduce the community viral load. Once we reduce the community viral load, the rate of transmission in the community is going to come down to very low levels," Ario explained.

The new policy is expected to cost about 120 million dollars (90 million euros) per year, Ario said, with donors being asked to pick up much of the bill.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
WHO says Ebola epidemic on the decline
Weekly Ebola infections in west Africa have dropped to below 100 for the first time in more than six months, figures showed Thursday....
Ebola vaccine is safe, researchers say
Preliminary results from a clinical trial on an experimental Ebola vaccine suggest it is safe for use....
Student
A student in Beijing is suing his university after he was allegedly expelled for having the rare hereditary blood disease haemophilia....
UN guidelines on physical activity under scrutiny
UN recommendations that people should do at least two-and-a-half hours'' physical activity a week are unworkable for some individuals, experts argue....
Formaldehyde in e-cigarettes could boost cancer risk
E-cigarettes produce the toxic chemical formaldehyde which could make the devices up to 15 times more cancerous....
Pneumonia
People who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of heart attack or stroke in the following weeks and months....
Do you agree with the new tax on private schools?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter