Uganda’s achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS can also be a driver for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies

Uganda’s achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS can also be a driver for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies

Uganda is very successful in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. In addition, publications in renowned medical journals such as JAMA, The Lancet, and now the New England Journal of Medicine are proving worldwide success in preventive medical research against HIV/AIDS (1). A team of scientists from the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) in Uganda reported a reduction of 42% in the number of newly infected adults in the Rakai district within seven years (2).

A bundle of preventive measures under the Rakai Health Sciences program contributed to this result. The program includes, in addition to HIV testing and medical education, voluntary medical male circumcision and HIV-suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART, the drugs are usually referred to as ARVs) in HIV infected. In this way the transmission of the virus to non-infected is aimed to be highly reduced. This approach has been tested in advance in small study groups and has now gratified in its use in about 34.000 adults aged 14 – 49 years in 30 communities in the district Rakai. The current analysis shows that the combined measures of HIV prevention are the right approach towards averting the epidemic, commented David Serwadda, cofounder of the Rakai Health Science Program and professor at the Makerere University School of Public Health in Kampala, Uganda.

The high level of understanding for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Uganda is also a motivation for the Students4Kids initiative to jointly search for approaches that help to avoid micronutrient deficiencies.

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(1) X Kong et al. Association of medical male circumcision and antiretroviral therapy scale-up with community HIV incidence in Rakai, Uganda. JAMA 2016;316:182-190, available at: und LW Chang et al. Heterogeneity of the HIV epidemic in agrarian, trading, and fishing communities in Rakai, Uganda: an observational epidemiological study. The Lancet. Volume 3, No. 8, e388–e396, August 2016, available at:

(2) MK Grabowski et al for the Rakai Health Sciences Program. HIV Prevention Efforts and Incidence of HIV in Uganda. N Engl J Med 2017; 377:2154-2166November 30, 2017DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1702150, available at:

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