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New Ugandan rules allow HIV care during lockdown

LGBTI and health rights activists in Uganda have welcomed new guidance from Uganda’s Ministry of Health about continued uninterrupted access to anti-HIV medications, tuberculosis treatments and management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during the current countrywide Covid-19 lockdown.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Ugandan mother and child receiving medical care. (Photo courtesy of UhspaUganda)

By Kikonyogo Kivumbi

Uganda’s Ministry of Health has issued guidelines about how vital HIV/AIDS services can continue with minimal disruption during the current 14-day countrywide Covid-19 lockdown.

LGBT and HIV/AIDS health rights activists gather at one of the country’s Joint Annual Reviews of the country’s health sector in Kampala. (UhspaUganda photo)

The guidelines, covering a wide range of health services, were developed by the ministry in consultation with civil society groups in the fight against the HIV pandemic.

Among dozens of specific guidelines, the announcement calls for the establishment of new Community Drug Distribution Points (CDDPs) that will allow people to get their medications without extensive travel.

They also call for regional and local cooperation to ensure that critical HIV services are not interrupted during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The ministry’s announcement came after an outcry from many Ugandans that the lockdown, announced March 30, stops them from getting medical refills, including anti-retroviral (ART) anti-HIV medication. The lockdown bans public transport and private cars in order to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.