Why we ran deep engagement uganda

Deep Engagement Uganda was set up to respond to the fact that HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are higher among LGBT people in Uganda than among the general population.

Resource: Trust & Choice

LGBT people struggle to access health services in Uganda due to:

  • Prohibitive laws and policies
  • Lack of information
  • Low HIV risk perception and health care seeking behaviour
  • Stigma & discrimination
  • Limited health facilities with services that are friendly to marginalised people
  • Untargeted interventions
  • Health providers who have negative attitudes
  • Limited medicine stocks.

Evidence shows that there has been a shift from state to non-state actors violating the rights of LGBT people in Uganda. There is clearly a need to increase community awareness of LGBT people and their rights to access health services.


The project operated across 15 Ugandan districts and covered all the main urban centres, including the country capital, Kampala.

It aimed to:

  1. Expand and increase access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care services to LGBT people living in Uganda
  2. Build the capacity of LGBT led community-based organisations
  3. Empower LGBT people with knowledge on rights, and on the existing legal policies and frameworks regulating access to HIV and STIs services.

The project was implemented by a consortium of 15 implementing partners, all strategically positioned to deliver stigma-free and friendly health care services to LGBT people.

The counsellors and doctors treat us with love and dignity regardless of who we identify as.Serina

The package of HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services made available by the project was tailored to the needs of the different LGBT sub-groups. It included HIV testing and counselling (HTC) and STI rapid testing, STI treatment, and access to condoms and lubricant, targeted information, education and communication (IEC) materials, sexual and reproductive health rights and HIV education and elements of holistic care.


Since Deep Engagement Uganda began, we reached:

  • 10,882 people with HIV testing
  • 1,109 people who now know their HIV-positive status
  • 894 people who are now started on antiretroviral treatment.

This programme ran from January 2018 to March 2020 and was funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and comprised of 15 consortium members including: Frontline AIDS (Consortium Lead), SMUG, Health Gap, Hope Mbale, SPECTRUM, FARUG, FEM Alliance, TEU, ERWEO, Youth On Rock, HRAPF, VINACEF, COPTEC, Alive Medical Services, and TASO.

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