Study implements community-based approach to treat HIV-infection in rural Uganda

New research from the University of Alberta's School of Public Health has demonstrated that community-based resources in rural Uganda can successfully provide HIV treatments to patients, where economic and geographical barriers would typically prevent access to care.

Working with the Kabarole District Health Department and colleagues at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, the researchers implemented a new model by which volunteers were trained to provide basic care to in Rwimi sub-county.

When comparing the viral loads of 185 patients within the community-based model to 200 patients of a well-established hospital-based program, they found that the viral loads were equivalent or better than those in the hospital-based program.

"After two years, 93 per cent of patients in the community-based model and 87 per cent of patients in the hospital-based model showed ," says Walter Kipp, professor in the School. "This model supports the idea that community-based, can be successful."

Traveling by bicycle, 40 volunteers paid weekly visits to an average of five patients each to deliver , monitor and support adherence to treatment and assess their condition. As part of the visit, they recorded their findings and referred any patients with adverse reactions or other clinical problems to the nearby health centre.

According to Joseph Konde-Lule, professor of epidemiology at Makerere University, the study provides much-needed evidence to support new strategies within the Ministry of Health. "Shifting some of the responsibilities of health care from highly trained to less-trained individuals is supported by the and is now one of the driving policies for the Uganda Ministry of Health," he says. "This study provides the scientific proof regarding the effectiveness of volunteers and should facilitate implementing this policy in Uganda."

Kipp also hopes that the program will be implemented in other areas of Uganda to address the barriers to treatment for HIV patients. "You can clearly see that hospital-based treatments are not the only answer in this region because many rural residents just can't access them," he says. "This program provided care to many people who would not have survived without it."

More information: The results of the study were published online at the Plos One. The journal article is available at www.plosone.org/article/info%3… journal.pone.0040902

Related Stories

Testing times: Detecting HIV in resource-limited settings

date Nov 29, 2007

Integrating HIV testing programmes into primary medical care can help achieve early diagnosis of HIV infection, even in relatively poor areas, research published in the online open access journal AIDS Research and Therapy ...

Nurses in Africa know when to start antiretroviral treatment

date Aug 19, 2009

Nurses and clinical officers (non-physician clinicians, NPCs) are capable of determining when a person should receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Preventing HIV/AIDS one SMS at a time

date Nov 01, 2011

One million people in Uganda live with HIV/AIDS, where long distances and expensive travel costs significantly limit access to treatment. By employing an innovative mobile-technology strategy, Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, Director ...

Recommended for you

Europe's police crack massive horsemeat trafficking ring

date Apr 25, 2015

Police from seven European countries detained 26 people in a crackdown on a horsemeat trafficking ring two years after a tainted meat scandal that rocked the continent, the EU's judicial agency Eurojust said Saturday.

Text messaging useful for reaching 'at-risk' teens about sex

date Apr 24, 2015

Text messaging that connects teens with sexual health educators is effective for delivering sexual health information, according to a recent study in The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.The ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.