As part of government’s efforts to reduce the number of new infections to zero, for sale Uganda is set to test for the first time a method that prevents people from being infected with HIV AIDS.
President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday launched the Presidential First-Track Initiative meant to End the HIV/AIDS Pandemic as public health threat in Uganda by 2030, ambulance at a function held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
According to Dr. Timothy Muwonge, viagra an HIV prevention specialist at the Infectious Disease Institute; research studies on a new method known as Pre Exposure and Prophylaxis (PrEP) have been ongoing and now ready for testing among selected communities in the country.
“3417 people are to start on PrEP and this is to be done at various selected health facilities throughout the country,” Dr. Muwonge revealed on Wednesday in Kampala.
The Global Technical Adviser on PrEP for Uganda from the University of Colombia mentioned Marpe Clinic in Mulago and Kasensero in Rakai among the selected 6 sites where the method is to be tested on selected members of the public and monitored.
“It will be rolled out in a phased way on selected populations to see if it can be done to the entire country,” the HIV prevention specialist at the Infectious Disease Institute said.
However, Dr. Noah Kiwanuka an Associate professor from Makerere School of Public Health warns that PrEP is not a substitute to condoms, abstinence and other methods, but only another way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS virus .
The initiative launched by President Museveni on Tuesday targets to end AIDS in Uganda by the year 2030 and among the interventions to be focused on include engaging men in HV prevention, closing the gap on new infection particularly among the adolescent girls and young women.
“AIDS has been a simple disease. Its transmission has been through a few ways. It’s not infectious. And now that more controls have been added on, let us target an HIV/AIDS free Uganda by 2030,”Museveni said.
However some of the stakeholders in the fight against HIV /AIDS expressed concern that if government doesn’t come out to address the issue of drug resistance, the efforts to end the scourge by 2030 will not yield any tangible results.
According to musician and former radio presenter Moses Nsubuga, many people in the country have become resistant to the Anti Retro Viral drugs prescribed to them by medics.
“I get my medication from Joint Clinical Research Centre but my virus was resistant to the first line of medication before I was prescribed to use the second line of medication. This is the same with so many people around the country, “Nsubuga who has spent 20 years with the virus said.
He revealed that over 1500 people around the country have failed to adhere to the second line of medication which calls for the third line, a dosage he said is not prescribed in Uganda because it is expensive.
When diagnosed, an HIV/AIDS patient is prescribed to start on a dose which is the first line of medication and in case the virus becomes resistant to this medication, another set of stronger regimen (second line) is prescribed.
Dr.Timothy Muwonge however explained that anomalies in the way ARVS are taken may make the virus resistant to the drugs.
“If the patient doesn’t follow properly the prescriptions,the drugs may reach at a time and fail to suppress the virus which might have become resistant. The patient is advised to have the dosage changed, “Dr.Muwonge revealed.