On November 29 2016, the United States Government demonstrated its ongoing commitment to improving the health of all Ugandans through its support to the Ministry of Health and its launch of Test and Treat Guidelines for HIV/AIDS in Uganda. This new policy is an aggressive approach to get more HIV-positive Ugandans on treatment immediately upon diagnosis, to identify remaining segments of society that have not yet benefited from existing HIV treatment programs, and ultimately, to help end the AIDS epidemic in Uganda.
These guidelines will be a critical tool in achieving an AIDS-free generation in Uganda. Test and Treat, a set of World Health Organization (WHO)-approved protocols for addressing the spread of HIV/AIDS, will put every individual who tests positive for HIV on antiretroviral therapy immediately. Research shows that immediate treatment decreases deaths and illnesses related to HIV, producing a higher quality of life and fewer long-term health costs. Early treatment also lowers the risk of HIV transmission, helping to limit new infections.
In Uganda, the Ministry of Health projects that Test and Treat will prevent 716,000 new HIV infections, avert 98,000 AIDS-related deaths, and decrease the total number of people living with HIV by 628,000 by 2030.