1.5 million people are living with HIV in Uganda, with only 57% of those who are adults on antiretroviral treatment. Young people, especially girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV: as many as 570 girls and women aged 15-24 acquire HIV every week in Uganda. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are also especially vulnerable. In 2014, the passing of the anti-homosexuality law has created a hostile environment for the LGBT community, making access to health information and services extremely difficult and dangerous.
In recent years, CHAU’s work has addressed the needs of young people as part of the Link Up project, an ambitious, five-country programme which aimed to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of more than one million young people. CHAU also implemented the SHARP project, which supported the sexual health and rights of MSM. CHAU continues to provide vulnerable populations with sexual health services, and reached almost 33,000 people with integrated HIV/SRHR services in 2016.
CHAU currently works with the Alliance on a range of programmes that aim to tackle HIV in Uganda using a multi-pronged approach. The SIDA SRHR Umbrella Programme builds on the institutional and technical capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) and will provide funding at a national and district level for 5 years.
CHAU partners with the Alliance Secretariat on PITCH, a programme that focuses on advocacy as a way to empower vulnerable populations and strengthen the capacities of local CSOs to respond to HIV in Uganda. EJAF Uganda is a programme supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation which aims to increase access to and uptake of STI & HIV services for LGBT people, particularly HCT, combination prevention, and ART. CHAU's work with young people has also continued through READY Teens, a project that focuses on 10-19 year olds living with and most affected by HIV.
Historically, the Alliance operated a country office in Uganda until 2013, when it was transitioned to an independent and autonomous organisation known as Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU). The Alliance Secretariat however maintained a small project office in Kampala until June 2015 to manage the USAID SUNRISE-OVC project. During the lifespan of this project, 374,000 orphans and vulnerable children directly benefited from services including child protection, withdrawal from child labour, family re-integration, arbitration and counselling, legal support, care and psychosocial services. Over a million children benefited indirectly from the project, which also strengthened government systems to support and safeguard orphans and vulnerable children.