New deadline for free anti-retrovirals
Monday 29 March 2004
Home About PlusNews Country Profiles News Briefs Special Reports Subscribe Archive IRINnews


East Africa
Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Southern Africa
West Africa


Country Profiles
Conferences / Research
Job opportunities

News Briefs

ZAMBIA: Reduce TB cases with increased AIDS treatment - WHO
AFRICA: Circumcision may cut AIDS risk - study
MALAWI: Maize harvest ravaged by AIDS and drought
PlusNews E-mail Subscription

UGANDA: New deadline for free anti-retrovirals

KAMPALA, 1 December (PLUSNEWS) - Uganda's ministry of health on Monday committed itself to offering free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS who urgently need it but cannot afford it, starting January 2004.

The announcement was made at the World AIDS Day commemoration in Kampala, attended by President Yoweri Museveni and Health Minister Jim Muhwezi.

In the government’s firmest commitment to date to providing access to the drugs, Muhwezi said that from January, Uganda would be the second country in Africa after Botswana to give free ARV drugs to its people living with HIV/AIDS.

However, he stressed that priorities would have to be drawn up.

"We are initially giving these drugs to orphans and pregnant mothers to prevent mother to child transmission," Muhwezi said. "Much still depends on how low the prices of the drugs go. Not long ago, treatments for one month were US $500 - now they are US $27.50."

Last month, Uganda received US $66 million for AIDS treatment and care under the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Muhwezi told PlusNews that, in addition, Uganda has already procured US $6 million from the Bush administration and is expecting a great deal more under President Bush’s pledge of US $15 billion to 12 African countries to help combat the disease.

However, Muhwezi added it was not yet clear whether money from the Bush fund would be used to buy generics, or whether the US would insist on the purchase of patented drugs from the big brands which are 20 times more expensive.

Uganda has an estimated 150,000 people in need of ARV drugs, only about 10,000 of whom have access to them at present.

"Four regional centres for distribution and monitoring progress of the ARV drugs are already operational," Muhwezi said. "And we are expecting to have a lot more early next year."



Recent UGANDA Reports

Companies slow to respond to epidemic,  29/Dec/03
Programme launched to boost ARV treatment capacity,  5/Dec/03
Local company undertakes to produce antiretrovirals,  5/Nov/03
Gov't commits to buying generic antiretrovirals,  27/Oct/03
Drug price cuts yet to reach PWAs,  16/Sep/03


The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:


  • IRIN

  • Inter Press Service (IPS)



  • Health Systems Trust

  • Health & Development

  • GTZ/Afronets

[Back] [Home Page]

Click to send any feedback, comments or questions you have about IRIN's Website or if you prefer you can send an Email to

The material contained on this Web site comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post any item on this site, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All graphics and Images on this site may not be re-produced without the express permission of the original owner. All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004