Voluntary door-to-door HIV screening and counselling is under way in Uganda’s eastern district of Iganga and Hoima district in the west.
Press reports said this is part of the country’s campaign to reduce the spread of the virus which causes AIDS and is also intended to make HIV screening services accessible to more people, especially in rural areas where there are neither modern laboratories nor electricity to run conventional tests.
Twenty districts will have been reached by the end of the year, and eventually the entire country will be covered, the weekly ‘EastAfrican’ newspaper reported on Monday. The programme will target people who may want to know their HIV status but lack access to the service.
The progamme, implemented by Uganda’s AIDS Commission, uses rapid test kits regarded as cheap and reliable in the field. Officials expect the programme to work by encouraging responsible behaviour.
“Those who test negative are expected to want to remain negative while those who turn out positive will receive counselling,” the paper said. Uganda has made dramatic gains in reducing the spread of HIV, bringing down prevalence rates from a one-time high of 28 percent to the current 13 percent.
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