HIV/AIDS CARE PROGRAMME
The HIV Care Research Programme unifies research projects designed to improve the comprehensive care of people infected with HIV. Treatment of HIV infection is a fairly recent public health intervention in Africa and one that had to proceed as an emergency without much locally generated evidence. Uganda was among the first African countries where provision of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV infection was available. In the late 1990s treatment was initially available in the private sector followed by more widespread public sector provision from 2004. Today, three quarters of the estimated six million people on antiretroviral therapy worldwide are in Sub Saharan Africa.
The Unit has played a pivotal role and become a recognized resource centre of excellence in providing research evidence to inform policy in HIV care and treatment. In the last quinquennium, for example, key studies on monitoring ART, delivery strategies for ART, and on management of HIV-related opportunistic infections were completed and have contributed evidence that has informed evolving HIV treatment and care policies in Africa.
This Programme has also built on past investment and available Unit resources and work to provide answers to future challenges in HIV care so as to inform evolving treatment guidelines in the African context. Of note, the improved survival of people with HIV infection on lifelong ART, presents new challenges related to long term clinical care and chronic disease management, patient quality of life and emotional well-being.
The main objectives of the Programme is to understand better the long term clinical consequences of HIV infection among African patients and to evaluate strategies for the long term management of HIV-infected patients.