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HIV vaccine trials to start in July

Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) is to carry out trials for an HIV vaccine in July. The project executive director, Dr. Hannah Kibuuka, told journalists during a media dialogue at their offices in Kampala that the trials would involve 120 participants. 

Uganda joins HIV vaccine trial tests

Uganda has partnered with the United States, Kenya and Tanzania to take part in a joint HIV/Aids vaccine trial. The DNA vaccine trial, to be conducted by Makerere University Walter Reed Project, is in the first phase and will attract 42 participants from Uganda, 20 from Kenya and Tanzania and 12 from the United States. The trials will be hosted in the respective countries.

Increase in HIV prevalence slows down the MDGs target

The Minister for health Dr. Christine Ondoa gave a key note address during the Joint Annual Scientific Health Conference. In her address she commended Makerere University for making 90 years as Uganda celebrates 50 years of Independence. She also congratulated UNACOH for celebrating 25 years of committing its service to the health of Ugandans. “Joint celebrations signify a chain of continuity, with human beings always aspiring for freedom, better health and development.” Hon. Ondoa was impressed by the attendence of the Deputy Regional Director of WHO AFRO and other international guests saying that their presence at the a conference was a reminder that Uganda is not alone on the health seeking journey - the rest of Africa and the rest of the world are by her side.

If Botswana can do it, why not Uganda?

In the just concluded 6th national pediatric conference in Kampala Uganda, African successful experiences were shared.   Botswana’s experience was presented by Ms. Koona Kealestwe, the National coordinator of the PMTCT in the ministry of health who gave a brief background revealing how Botswana has managed to increase its PMTCT to 95%.

Botswana government agreed to prioritize infected mothers and HIV exposed babies to target the population for ATZ. It did this by establishing a technical advisory committee and reference groups to oversee the implementation of PMTCT programme.  A multi-sectoral approach both at national and district levels was followed and for financial support to implementation of the program, government increased budgetary funding by 90%  as 10% is done by the different partners. “The government is in charge of the labs, supplies, provision of ARVs, free infant formula, trainings and material while the partners are in charge of infrastructure, workshops, and other activities” she added.

A new plan to save millions of newborn Ugandans from HIV will be launched today, representing a new frontier in the fight against Aids.
Under the new ‘Option B+’ plan, pregnant women living with HIV, the virus which causes Aids, will receive treatment early enough to prolong their lives and help them prevent transmitting the virus to babies.

If implemented countrywide, it could reduce the number of newborn babies who get infected through their mothers during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding by more than 23,000. At least 25,000 babies are infected with HIV/Aids every year through mother-to-child transmission.

No single infection has probably inspired as many conspiracy theories as AIDS has over the last 30 years. The science of AIDS has endured tremendous attacks from as early as when the virus first appeared. A book entitled “The AIDS Conspiracy – Science Fights Back”, looks at how science has triumphed and sought to bring sense to a condition that has attracted a flurry of mad conspiracy theories.

The AIDS Conspiracy – Science Fights Back traces the emergence of AIDS denialism both in the United States and in South Africa from as early as when AIDS was believed to be the American government’s way of destroying sex and mankind. This is the second book on AIDS conspiracies and denialism that has been written by Nicoli Natrass, a professor at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town.

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