Clinical Care and Support Services

Anti-Retroviral Therapy

Antiretroviral therapy involves the combination of several daily medications that reduce the speed at which the HIV virus multiplies in the body. ROM provides free anti-retroviral therapy (ART) drugs to HIV-positive patients.

In 2015, 96.4% of the adults and 95.3% of the children were on first-line ART regimens. 87% of total people in care who were living with HIV were on ART in 2015, and of those, 86% of clients had undetectable viral loads.

Pediatric and Adolescent Care and Support

Children and adolescents are tested for HIV through HIV testing and counseling services at clinics, youth outreaches, and prevention activities.

In 2015, 1,607 adolescents aged 10-19 years were offered testing, with 82 children and 125 adolescents testing HIV positive. In 2015, ROM provided care for 570 children and 383 adolescents.

TB Care and Management

At ROM, tuberculosis (TB) services have been integrated with HIV services, through screening all HIV clients routinely for TB and TB patients for HIV. ROM also provides treatment for TB to both HIV-positive and negative clients. All those diagnosed with TB are linked to Community Health Workers for close monitoring and follow-up.

In 2015, 1,917 presumptive TB cases were identified, 310 of which were clients receiving HIV care. ROM achieved 92% treatment success rate in 2015.

A 16-year-old's story

When 16-year-old SB walked into the doors of Reach Out Mbuya’s medical clinic on August 10, 2015, she was very frail and being supported by her aunt to walk. Everyone gave them way and medical staff prepared for her a bed.

SB had been transferred to ROM from another health center, where she had been receiving anti-retroviral therapy to treat her HIV for two years. But for the past two months, she had been suffering from cough, evening fevers, occasional night sweats, loss of appetite, and marked weight loss. Many questioned whether she would live through this ordeal – her CD4 was only 33 cells.

ROM’s investigations determined that not only did SB have HIV, she also had TB. ROM medical staff immediately initiated on anti-TB medication and gave her nutritional therapy. After two weeks on TB treatment, SB was switched to the second-line regimen. During subsequent visits to ROM, SB showed gradual weight gain. Eventually, she was even able to come to the clinic on her own. From near-death, SB became healthy and cheerful about her life. She was looking forward to being enrolled in school, optimistic for her future. 

  • Total in Care

Numbers in Care at ROM, 2011-2015

Since 2011, the percentage of people living with HIV who are on ART has increased from 68% to 87%.

  • No. of MARPs in care

Number of MARPs in Care, 2012-2015

Since 2012, the number of the most-at-risk populations in ROM’s care has increased more than 12-fold.

STI Diagnosis and Treatment

ROM provides screening, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, which is particularly important for couples in discordant relationships and the most-at-risk populations. STI diagnosis and treatment is offered during HIV care consultations, antenatal and postnatal care.

In 2015, 449 of the 8.475 patients screened, and 435 of those most-at-risk populations, were diagnosed and treated for STIs. 77 pregnant women were also diagnosed and treated for syphilis.

A representative from the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visits the new Portbell Wellness Center, which targets sex workers and fisher folk who work nearby.
A representative from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visits the new Portbell Wellness Center, which targets sex workers and fisher folk who work nearby.

Most-at-Risk Populations 

ROM targets HIV testing, counseling and clinical care services to those most-at-risk-populations (MARPs) for acquiring HIV: female sex workers, fisherfolk, uniformed men, truckers, people who inject drugs, and men who have sex with men. ROM runs outreach clinics to reach those areas where MARPs generally live and work, such as nearby brothels and landing sites for fisherfolk. With its mobile van, ROM also runs “moonlight” outreaches at night to target populations such as female sex workers during the hours when they are at work.

Outreach Centers: 

Since 2012, ROM has been operating an outreach clinic in Portbell, a landing site in Kampala that attracts fisherfolk, truckers and female sex workers who work in nearby bars. In 2015, ROM constructed a wellness center to provide a central location where these most-at-risk populations can meet. A counselor is stationed at the center six days a week to provide HIV testing and care.

Since 2014, ROM has operated a center in Kinawataka near a transport and shipping company. The center, called Kinawataka Knowledge room, provides HIV testing and care and various forms of edutainment for the clients, many of whom are truckers and sex workers working in or near the shipping company.