Uganda progresses in HIV fight with lower infections among new born

Apr 24, 2024Featured Stories

A health worker in a laboratory. Uganda has made progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) article, in Uganda, women are disproportionately affected by HIV. Out of 1.4 million people living with the disease, 860,000 are women and 80, 000 are children.

As part of the drive to reduce the number of babies born with HIV, Uganda has a robust prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme. It involves following up women of reproductive age living with, or at risk of acquiring, HIV from their reproductive years, throughout pregnancy and to the end of the breastfeeding period.

Using a well-coordinated, multi-sectoral response and through strong coordination between the Government of Uganda, World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the PMTCT programme has led to a dramatic reduction of HIV infections among newborns by 77%, from 20 000 cases in 2010 to 5900 cases in 2022.

In a bid to improve the management of PMTCT in Uganda, in 2022 the country introduced the Point of Care HIV viral load test, a blood test to check the amount of HIV in a sample of a person’s blood, results of which are available almost immediately. This test is available in all specialized HIV centres.

This has reduced the turnaround time for HIV viral load testing in pregnant and breastfeeding women from one month to within 48 hours.

To ensure the success of the PMTCT programme, working with the Ugandan Ministry of Health, WHO has developed training tools and materials, including a comprehensive HIV/AIDS care training package that integrates PMTCT and has previously conducted training of over 60 trainers to improve implementation of the PMTCT programme in health facilities across the country.

The goal of all these efforts is to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. “While prevention of mother-to-child transmission has made major headway in Uganda in limiting new HIV infections among newborns, we must also pay particular attention to factors contributing to new HIV infections, especially among adolescent girls and young women,” says Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative to Uganda.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Funds Coordination Unit of the Global Fund Grants