New HIV testing machines in Uganda: the African country wants to erase the virus within 2030

In Uganda, the Ministry of Health has scaled up access to early infant diagnosis and HIV Viral Load testing with new machines. This will absolutely help the existing capacity for progress towards targets for HIV epidemic control and ending AIDS.

The mission of the Ministry of Health of Uganda in the battle against HIV.

New machines for HIV Viral testing and infant diagnosis in Uganda: the efforts of the Ministry of Health

While rolling out the placement of the 100 m.PIMA point of care machines the Permanent Secretary underscored that this increased capacity means scaled up access to testing and timely return of results. “This will contribute to improved outcomes and early identification of those infected for timely initiation onto treatment”, she added.

The machines, which are portable, can test between seven to eight samples per day and provide a short turnaround time in HIV and viral load testing among infants. These machines will be installed and utilized at 100 health facilities including Regional Referral Hospitals, General Hospitals, Health Center IVs and IIIs in Uganda.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the General Health Services Director said that this is a cost-effective approach and I wish to emphasize that we need to explore this method further in our diagnostic interventions. This is a good innovation, which must be encouraged and supported.

Chris Kraft, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy noted that the machines will greatly contribute to the gains sustained by Uganda in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He further said that in the last five years, the coverage of the anti-retroviral treatment among HIV pregnant women has seen a significant reduction of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from over 5% to just 2%.

Thanks to many partners, like Abbott, CDC, UNICEF, CHAI and others, the placement of the machines and capacity building of health workers has been made possible. The aim is to eliminate HIV in Uganda until 2030.

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