Changing paediatric HIV services – Eight years of experience from Uganda

Man surrounded by a group of school children
Last updated on: 05 March 2024

It takes a village, the community to raise children. The Towards an AIDS Free Generation in Uganda programme was Aidsfonds’ first paediatric HIV community intervention programme co-created with Ugandan community-based partner organisations. Eight years later, we can proudly say that together we have changed the way community-based HIV services are delivered.

Find, test, treat and retain

At the start of the Towards an AIDS Free Generation in Uganda (TAFU) programme in 2015, the number of children in care was low. 35% nationally were not accessing care and an estimated 98,000 children under the age of 15 were living with HIV. TAFU aimed to address this by training and equipping community health workers to integrate paediatric HIV support into their existing activities, to find, test, and treat children and pregnant women living with HIV and to ensure they stay in care.

>2500 children with HIV live healthy lives

This has been very successful; over the eight years of TAFU 8,373 children (0-14 years) were tested for HIV, of which 2,567 children tested positive and were enrolled in care. The 1,100 Village Health Teams conducted almost 24,000 household visits and ensured 3,285 pregnant women found their way to HIV testing and treatment services. Caregivers have an increased treatment literacy, reduced fear of HIV and feel more confident to support children living with HIV to live healthy, productive lives. At the same time, through savings and support groups, households have increased capacity to provide for household needs including adequate nutrition and transport to clinics to refill HIV medication regularly.


All our HIV exposed babies are HIV negative. This is because the community health workers support mothers to attend antenatal care, adhere to ARVs and give birth at the health facility

– Healthcare worker, Soroti District


Community health workers continue after project closure

In order to support community health workers with their work partners adopted a Volunteer Development Assistance model, in which community health workers join savings groups and develop income-generating activities to strengthen their household economic status. This turned out to be key in creating a sustainable approach; almost all of them continued after the end of the project.

Kids to Care scaled up to 4 more countries

Based on the successes and learnings of TAFU in Uganda, Aidsfonds scaled paediatric HIV programming to four other countries between 2018-2021: Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Nigeria. These five programmes, co-developed with partner organisations form the basis for the Aidsfonds Kids to Care model for community based paediatric HIV programming.

Tangible impact: stories from Uganda

This storybook contains an inspiring collection of faces and voices from communities in Soroti and Mubende districts in Uganda working to break the barriers to reach all children living with or exposed by HIV. These community voices include health workers, community health volunteers, peer support group members, mentor mothers, members of social-economic empowerment groups, and more. The achievements they share are to a great extent the result of using the Kids to Care community intervention model.

Read the stories

David Bitira (Community Health Alliance Uganda) about 8 years of the TAFU programme from Aidsfonds on Vimeo.

Empowered communities are a resource that can make a great impact in the health and lives of children living with HIV

The Kids to Care Toolkit

Are you working in paediatric HIV programming? The Kids to Care Toolkit might be of great support to you. This toolkit has been developed to provide support for those who want to implement a community-based model to strengthen paediatric HIV care that is based on evidence and best practice.

Download the Toolkit