Better HAG Uganda tests 412 people at Bumbo

The findings from the 2011 Uganda National HIV Indicator Survey show that the prevalence rates i.e. the proportion of Ugandans, age 15-49, who are infected with HIV has risen and now stands at 7.3% (and even higher in women at 8.3%), up from 6.4% in the 2004-05 survey. The principal concern is that the number of new infections has been rising steadily: from 124,000 in 2009; through 128,000 in 2010; and now to approximately 145,000 in 2011-and by all indications, there will be a higher number of new infections in subsequent years. These statistics are disturbing and are calling for rejuvenation of interventions employed in the late 80s and early 90s if we are to regain the glory and pride we enjoyed for spearheading the fight against HIV globally.

Better HAG Uganda employs HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) as an entry point towards virtual elimination of MTCT by adopting Option B+/or other effective regimens. This is done in an effort to counter maternal, neonatal and child deaths owing to HIV and AIDS.
HCT was one of the sub activities during the anti-VAWG multifaceted awareness and education campaign held at Bumbo Primary School where 412 people were successfully counseled, tested and given results. This mass testing exercise was done in partnership with Bumbo Health Center III (who provided the HCT team and equipment) with funding support from AWDF. Prior to this however, proper condom use demonstration sessions using dildos are conducted to enhance protection during risky sexual situations. 21 people (12 females) were diagnosed HIV positive and were referred to Bumbo H/C III and Magale Sub Hospital for CD4 Count & TB testing, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) as well as ongoing counseling, care and support.
Follow up efforts to the above health facilities are underway to not only establish the service seeking behavior of the clients but also ascertain what attention has been granted to them. We are also working with a team of ‘Expert Clients’ from Sorry Comes After Danger (SCAD)-a partner CBO; to provide client escort services to health facilities leading these new cases to enroll into care including adhering to treatment; and provide ongoing counseling to these clients on positive living.