Lacor hospital has been seeing patients with HIV since the 1980’s. However, care for HIV became more organized in 1992, when patients were registered. At that time, only rich people could afford the then very expensive antiretroviral drugs, and mortality was very high.
In 2004, the Uganda Ministry of Health provided some antiretroviral drugs for a limited number of clients. In November 2004, PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) support arrived, and since then, thousands have been initiated on life saving antiretroviral drugs. PEPFAR remains the main funder of the HIV program here at Lacor Hospital.
We offer HIV counseling and testing across different units within the hospital, including Provider Initiated Testing and counseling, “Know your child’s status” and targeted outreach testing. We also offer care for HIV clients: supportive counseling, treatment of opportunistic infections.
Antiretroviral therapy is now offered to all HIV positive clients under the “test and treat” mechanism. We offer HIV treatment to over 8000 clients and run three satellite Health Centres directly under the direction of Lacor Hospital. So far, over 15000 clients have been enrolled.
Success has been scored in the elimination of Mother- to- child transmission of HIV since the single dose nevirapine program was piloted in the early 2000’s. We now provide ART for life for all pregnant mothers. Currently (2017) we have a rate of about 3.5% transmission.
TB/ HIV collaboration is in place, providing HIV testing to all TB patients and HIV testing to all TB patients. All those who need the antiTB or antiretroviral therapy are accordingly initiated.
Lives have been restored and hope has been given to many HIV infected persons. Collaborations, for example with Comboni Samaritans of Gulu have seen us provide educational support, child protection and livelihood programs for some clients.
There are great opportunities for research in the clinic which has a patient care database, and a large number of patients.