Strengthening Access to ARVs by HIV Positive Patients in Hard to Reach Communities During this Covid-19 Crisis

ViiV Healthcare-Positive Action is supporting ICODI with a grant to implement a project focused on strengthening access to ARVs for critical HIV patients in hard to reach communities during this Covid-19 pandemic. The project is aiming at bridging the gap in HIV care and management among the most critically affected HIV patients (pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, children and adolescents from rural hard to reach communities of Mbarara District-South Western Uganda through strengthening their access to ARVs and other critical HIV related services. The project is mainly focusing on the HIV positive pregnant and breastfeeding mothers as well as children and adolescents below 18 years in rural poor hard to reach communities who are finding it difficult to walk for long distances to access HIV care and treatment in some of the health facilities that are far from their homes.

Strengthening access to ARVs and other HIV related services to HIV pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in this critical period will greatly help to reduce on the chances of mother-to-child HIV transmission which is one of the ICODI’s great focus areas to have zero new HIV infections among babies born to HIV positive mothers. Also, supporting children and adolescents living with HIV in this critical period to access ARVs and other HIV related services will help them not to deteriorate clinically and get advanced HIV disease and also maintain and improve on their clinical status.

The project also provides home-based psychosocial support counseling and Intensive Adherence Counseling (IAC) to HIV positive pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and adolescents with unsuppressed viral loads and also provide NVP prophylaxis to the HIV exposed children as well as advising HIV positive pregnant mothers to make sure that they deliver from health facilities.