Uganda To Commence HIV Universal Treatment In October
The Ministry of Health will in October commence the implementation of the proposed universal treatment of persons living with HIV.
The World Health Organization revised guidelines released in September 2015 require that all persons who test positive to HIV be enrolled for antiretroviral therapy as soon after diagnosis as possible.
Dr Joshua Musinguzi, the Aids Control Program Manager confirmed this development in an interview with a local newspaper saying the ministry is ready to test and treat all those found HIV positive.
With the “treat-all” recommendation, WHO removed all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV, making all populations and age groups eligible for treatment.
The expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.
According to UNAIDS estimates, expanding ART to all people living with HIV and expanding prevention choices can help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.
Uganda has so far enrolled treatment to 875,000 people, out of 1.5 million Ugandans who need ARVs.
A report released last year by the Ministry of Health indicates that the number of new infections dropped to 127,000 cases in 2014, down from 137,000 recorded in the year 2013. This shows that HIV infections have had a successive drop over the last four years since 2012 when about 140,000 new infections were recorded. In 2011, there were 160,000 new infections.