August 26, 2010
"More Ugandan HIV patients are set to receive life-prolonging medication after the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) responded to appeals by healthcare providers overwhelmed by patients they could not afford to treat by lifting funding caps," IRIN/PlusNews reports. Emmanuel Luyirika, director of Mildmay Centre in Kampala said, "As soon as [PEPFAR] sends us the guidelines, we shall start clearing patients" from the center's waiting list of around 1,000. The news service reports, many health centers around the country had "stopped taking on new HIV patients in the past year," while others could only treat patients with a CD4 count below 100, "far below UN World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that patients start treatment at 350." IRIN/PlusNews notes that PEPFAR supports around "87 percent of the 200,000 Ugandans" on antiretrovirals (ARVs) and examines the recent announcement by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Goosby that PEPFAR will provide an "immediate infusion" of drugs and financial assistance to Uganda (8/25).