Uganda Procures Antiretroviral Treatment for 350,000 HIV-Positive People, Health Minister Says
Uganda's government has obtained antiretroviral drugs to provide 350,000 HIV-positive people with the therapy under its treatment program, Health Minister Stephen Mallinga announced recently, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports. According to Mallinga, 150,000 people currently have access to antiretrovirals, and the government aimed to add 200,000 people to this group. Mallinga said that Uganda's antiretroviral treatment program is one of the leading programs in Africa, with treatment initiatives available in 11 referral hospitals nationwide. The treatment program also will be introduced in health centers, according to Mallinga. He added that about 25% of people in Uganda are aware of their HIV status and that the program aims to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. Mallinga also noted that HIV/AIDS is contributing to the spread of tuberculosis in the country.
The New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports that the health ministry has expanded eligibility for enrollment in the antiretroviral program by raising the eligible CD4+ T cell count to 350 from 200. Nathan Kenya, the clinical and community services health director, said the previous enrollment criteria were "getting inadequate" (Buryegyeya, New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 2/4).