AIDS Healthcare Foundation
As some global funders retreat, efforts to keep thousands of patients already on antiretroviral therapy from losing access to lifesaving treatment spreads to community groups and care providers like AHF, which is donating crucial testing equipment to help medical providers better assess and care for AIDS patients
As some of the primary global AIDS treatment funders such as PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and the Global Fund have slowed somewhat in honoring ongoing commitments to provide lifesaving care and services and antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, groups like AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which currently cares for over 125,000 HIV/AIDS patients in 26 countries around the globe—including providing medical care and services to HIV/AIDS patients at 11 sites throughout Uganda, are stepping up to help fill the void.
Toward that end, AHF’s ‘Uganda CARES’ program is proud to announce that in addition to providing free HIV testing services, medical care and antiretroviral therapy throughout Uganda, AHF is also donating CD4 testing machines to its supported care and treatment sites in Health Districts located throughout Uganda. According to the website of AVERT.org, a respected international HIV/AIDS charity, “A CD4 test measures the number of T-helper cells (in a cubic millimetre of blood) which is known as a CD4 count. Someone who is not infected with HIV normally has between 500 and 1200 cells/mm3. In a person infected with HIV, the CD4 count often declines over a number of years.”
“AHF Uganda CARES is honored to announce the donation of these CD4 testing machines to facilities that AHF supports directly as an AHF clinical treatment site in Uganda or as part of our broader ‘Test and Treat’ initiative in Health Districts around the country,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “By having such a critical piece of medical testing equipment right on site at these facilities around Uganda, health care providers can better assess a patient’s medical status in a much more timely manner because they do not have to send the laboratory specimens out to other locations and then wait days or more for the results.”
A successful training of the personnel who will operate these CD4 machines was done Monday in Masaka at Hotel Brovard.
The Districts receiving the CD4 machines include, among others:
- Lwengo at Kiwangala Health Center iv,
- Bukomansimbi at Butenga Health Center iv,
- Kalungu at Bukulula Health Center iv,
- Rakai (three locations) at the main Rakai Hospital Health Care Center, at the Kaliziso Hospital Health Care Center, and Kakuto Health Care Center iv
- Lyantonde at Lyantonde Hospital Care Center,
- Gomba at Maddu Health Center iv in Gomba District,
- Mpigi at Nkozi Hospital Health Care Center,
- Butambala at Gombe Hospital Health Care Center,
- Kampala at Nakawa Market Clinic, and
- Tororo at Nagongera Health Care Center.
With regard to what CD4 testing results may indicate or suggest for HIV-infected individuals, the AVERT.org website reported, “HIV drug treatment is generally recommended when the CD4 test shows fewer than 350 cells/mm3. World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 guidelines recommend starting treatment for all patients with CD4 counts of <350 cells/mm3 in all countries.” The CD4 testing machines being donated by AHF Uganda CARES will be handed over to the Health facilities in the presence of the District Health Officer, District Resident Commissioner and Chairman LC 5.