The Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) was founded in 1991 to serve as a national AIDS research centre, and was born as a collaboration between Makerere University’s School of Medicine and Uganda’s Ministries of Health and Defence. The Centre pioneered the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in Uganda in 1996, and has cumulatively provided ARVs to more than 30,000 clients, making JCRC the largest provider of ARVs in sub-Saharan Africa.

With the receipt of Emergency Plan funds, the number of JCRC clients is growing quickly. JCRC with USAID support, has launched 42 treatment sites across the country. Through the USAID support free drugs are being supplied to orphans and eligible children, pregnant women and other poor women. JCRC also provides HIV/AIDS health care through a cost-share arrangement throughout her 42 sites. These sites include the 5 regional centres of excellence (RCEs) of Mbale, Fort-Portal, Mbarara, Kabale, Gulu and Kakira in addition to the main centre at Mengo in Kampala . The RCEs have state of the art laboratory capabilities to support health care and research.

JCRC family of collaborations has grown and now includes more than 20 Universities and Institutions from USA, Europe and Asia. Among the local collaborators, there is Makerere University Medical School, Mulago Hospital, Mbuya General Military Hospital, Uganda Virus Institute, Mbarara University Hospital, Makerere University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Ministry of Health. Other collaborations exist with The AIDS Support Organisation, AIDS Information Center, Uganda AIDS Commission, Traditional Medicine Associations and others. This collaboration is expected to expand and evolve definite new joint projects.