Close this search box.

Promoting access to quality, affordable and timely HIV, TB in Uganda

The Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) is implementing the Uganda Country Programme on HIV, TB and Human Rights Training and Advocacy in partnership with Uganda ARASA partners including; International Community of Women living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA), Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET), Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN), African Young Positives Network (AY+) and Tororo Forum for People Living with HIV Networks (TOFPHANET) with financial and technical support from the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

The Country Programme is aimed at promoting access to quality, affordable and timely HIV, TB, and SRH services and justice among communities of persons living with and those affected by HIV and TB and key populations in Uganda and this will be achieved through three major approaches: Research for evidence building; Capacity strengthening to increase demand and uptake of services; and Advocacy to influence policy development, change and or implementation.

Under the approach of evidence building, CEHURD in collaboration with Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners conducted a “Rapid assessment and mapping of the legal environment on the provision of HIV and TB services to key populations, persons living with HIV and those with tuberculosis: A Case of three districts in Uganda” a process that began in October, 2018.

A number of stakeholders including MoH technical team, Parliamentarians, district officials including; District Health Officers (DHOs), Secretaries for Health, HIV and TB Focal Persons from the five selected districts, Professional bodies, legal experts, CSOs, media were brought together on February, 21st 2019 to validate the study findings which were also presented to the Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) Technical Working Group (TWG) at MoH on February, 22nd 2019 for more comments and inputs that will inform the final report.

The research process has helped to strengthen our in country partnership as the ARASA partners but also the collaborations with Ministry of Health, Local Governments, Legislators, CSOs among other stakeholders. The draft report also already clearly highlighted the knowledge and capacity gaps on the linkage between HIV, TB and Human Rights and these will be addressed during the forthcoming trainings in the respective districts. Most importantly the final report will serve as an advocacy and resource mobilization tool for future intervention.


By Muhumuza Abdulkharim

The non film coated tenofovir+lamivudine is a two drug combination used with a third medicine, typically efavirenz or nivirapine.

“Cease Use of Bitter medicines” – CSOs ask of government


People living with HIV Call for Urgent Action by Health Ministry to
Cease Use of “Unusable” Medicine
Risk of Chaos in HIV Treatment Undermines the Right to Health

For Immediate Release: September 2 2014
Contact for more information: Kenneth Mwehonge, HEPS Uganda and
Uganda Coalition for Access to Essential Medicines:: 0701182809
Margaret Happy, International Community of Women Living with HIV East
Africa: 0772695133
Read More “Cease Use of Bitter medicines” – CSOs ask of government

Thousands on HIV treatment in Uganda risk imminent HIV drugs ban

By Henry Zakumumpa

August 17, 2011

Thousands of people enrolled on antiretroviral treatment in Uganda risk early death unless a grace period placed on the manufacture of generic drugs imposed under Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), an international trade law, is extended.

The critically important Industrial Properties Bill, which makes provision for exercising the flexibilities of the TRIPS agreement, including extending the grace period of manufacturing generic drugs, has been shelved by the Ugandan national parliament, putting the lives of thousands of Uganda at grave risk come 2016.

Generic drugs refer to medicines manufactured by pharmaceutical companies who are not the original manufacturers. Under the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s TRIPS agreement, to which Uganda is a signatory, poor countries were given a transitional period to manufacture HIV drugs using the original formulas of mainly Western pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Smith Kline Beecham.

For developing countries such as India, the ban on the manufacture of generic HIV drugs came into force in 2005 under the TRIPS agreement of the WTO, whereas a similar ban on poorer developing countries such as Uganda will take effect in 2016 unless Uganda passes a national law that allows for extension of this deadline. This includes drugs to treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

Denis Kibira of HEPS-Uganda,a health-rights advocacy NGO, says all HIV drugs used in Uganda are manufactured in-country or in India, under an international intellectual property law that permits drug manufacturers in developing countries to manufacture pharmaceutical products that imitate those originally made by Western pharmaceutical companies on account of public health emergencies.

In 2006, CIPLA, a prominent Indian pharmaceutical company, entered into a joint venture with Quality Chemicals of Uganda to manufacture generic drugs previously produced in India whose grace period under TRIPS regulations expired in 2005.

‘’Unless the Ugandan parliament passes the Industrial Properties Bill, which it has currently shelved, the permission to manufacture cheap generic ARV drugs will cease in 2016 with thousands affected since Quality Chemicals manufactures generic AIDS drugs’’ said Moses Mulumba, Executive Director of the Centre for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), a healthcare access and advocacy NGO.

With the expiry of the TRIPS grace period, the alternative for Uganda will be to buy antiretrovirals (ARVs) from Western manufacturers at prices beyond the reach of the average Ugandan ARV user.

The process of reforming Ugandan laws to bring them in line with the TRIPS agreement started back in 2000 with the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Acts being enacted in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

According to the Uganda AIDS Commission, there are 135,000 new HIV infections in Uganda. This adds to the already rising number of those in need of ARV treatment. Currently, only half of those in need of ARV treatment in Ugandan have it.

The TRIPS agreement threatens to dramatically reverse the gains achieved in access to ARVs to pre-2004 levels where only a few paying patients could afford HIV treatment.

Source: KC team