Ugandan HIV/AIDS Program Targets Rural Population
A new "door-to-door" HIV prevention and testing campaign in Uganda is bringing the fight against AIDS to some of the most remote areas of the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Each month, a team consisting of two counselors, a technician and a program coordinator from Iganga Hospital in eastern Uganda travels to Iganga's four health clinics. At these clinics, the counselors lead seminars, answer questions, give demonstrations of condom use and stress the importance of abstinence, safe sex and HIV testing. The program aims to bring HIV testing and prevention messages to Ugandans living in remote areas far away from medical facilities. "It was necessary to take services to the people," Sister Ruth Namusaabi, a senior nurse at Iganga hospital, said. The Chronicle reports that the program is "a testament to an aggressive decade-long government campaign" in Uganda that strives to educate the public about the risks of HIV and break down societal taboos about publicly discussing sex. This campaign and other efforts by the Ugandan government have placed the country "years ahead of the rest of Africa" in terms of HIV/AIDS programs, and have resulted in a decline in the nation's HIV infection rate (Gough, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.