Project team working with members of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF). Photo credit: URC

Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Uganda (DoD Uganda URC Project)

The Challenge

Uganda is known for leading a rigorous response to the HIV epidemic in the 1990s and early 2000s, making significant headway against the disease. Unfortunately, HIV infections surged between 2005 and 2013. Since then, the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders have been working to address the drivers of the epidemic and reach zero new infections.

PEPFAR estimates that the HIV prevalence among key and priority populations – including military services – is between 15% and 37%, much higher than that of the general population, although the exact HIV prevalence rate for the military is not known.

Overview and Objectives

With a comprehensive HIV program implemented through 40 military-run health facilities, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) can strengthen HIV services and reduce HIV transmission among military personnel and civilian communities.

The Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Uganda (DoD Uganda URC Project) is scaling up the UPDF HIV response in Uganda to achieve epidemic control. The program supports 40 military health facilities – including 28 with antiretroviral therapy (ART) accredited clinics – by providing custom-designed technical assistance and material support. The project is helping military health facilities’ efforts to improve access and quality of care for clients accessing the UPDF HIV services.

The DoD Uganda URC Project’s objectives are to:

  • Aggressively scale up HIV testing services and ART coverage to achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals within the military;
  • Strengthen TB diagnostics and treatment;
  • Strengthen comprehensive prevention services in the UPDF, their families, and surrounding communities with special focus on PMTCT and voluntary medical male circumcision;
  • Improve clinical laboratory services in the military hospitals for HIV care and HIV clinical monitoring systems for their HIV/AIDS programs;
  • Reduce the impact of HIV on orphans and other vulnerable children;
  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of the UPDF to lead, plan, and monitor the HIV response among the UPDF and their families; and
  • Increase access and utilization of behavioral and structural HIV prevention services for UPDF, their sexual partners, and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) within military bases


  • Increased HIV testing services and ART coverage in UPDF facilities to more than 21,000, up from nearly 18,000 at project start
  • Provided technical assistance to facilities on testing and ART coverage
  • Supported the accreditation of three new ART facilities
  • Increased patients using TB preventative therapy to more than 16,000, up from nearly 1,000 at project start
  • Enrolled 1,909 AGYW and serve more than 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children




Health Service Delivery, HIV/AIDS, Infectious Diseases, and Quality Health Systems

U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF)