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Kenneth Mwehonge

Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) - 2015 Fellow

Kenneth has more than six years experience in health promotion and advocacy. He has worked with both grassroots communities and national level stakeholders in promoting health and the rights of people living with HIV in Uganda by advocating for consumer friendly policies. He currently coordinates the Uganda Coalition for Access to Essential Medicines (UCAEM), which spearheads advocacy campaigns to increase access to medicines with a special focus on antiretroviral therapy for HIV. Kenneth has a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Makerere University and is currently in his final year pursuing a master’s degree in Social Sector Planning and Management.

Prevention Gaps and Needs — My view for 2015
Uganda is one of the few countries with high rates of new HIV infections not on the decline. To reverse this trend, the country should implement treatment as prevention with viral load monitoring as a requisite tool. The use of viral load was previously not recommended in developing countries because of costs and technical constraints. However, WHO currently recommends viral load monitoring in all countries over the use of CD4 tests for its ability to assess HIV treatment program quality, monitor drug resistance, and to evaluate candidate vaccines. Viral load testing also acts as an important guide for clinical decisions on when to switch to second-line treatment and on how to optimize the duration of the first-line treatment regimen.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Fact sheet on viral load testing: Kenneth developed this basic fact sheet for civil society and other stakeholders to use in their advocacy/work on viral load testing.
  • World AIDS Day statement: Kenneth worked with other civil society partners to write a statement on World AIDS Day 2015 calling for fast tracking of rollout of viral load monitoring in Uganda.
  • Policy brief: Policy makers are key for all advocacy initiatives, and Kenneth developed this “Policy brief on viral load monitoring in Uganda” specifically targeted at Uganda’s policy makers.
  • AIDS2016 Abstract: Kenneth’s advocacy on viral load monitoring in Uganda got highlighted when an abstract about it was accepted for presentation at the 2016 IAS Conference in Durban.
  • Fellowship summary report: “Increasing universal access to viral load testing for HIV treatment monitoring” is the final report that summarizes Kenneth’s Fellowship experience and activities.

Poster - Influencing HIV Programming in Uganda to Develop a Roadmap to achieving the UNAIDS 90 Percent Viral Load Suppression Targets
Media - Uganda: New Guidelines for HIV Treatment

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