NACWOLA was founded in 1992, and has since grown to a national network of over 100,000 HIV+ women in 42 districts of Uganda aimed at providing a platform for fellowship, mutual support, hope and a voice to women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. NACWOLA envisages a healthy and empowered community of women living with HIV and their families. With a mission committed to supporting WLHIV and their families to have a quality life through knowledge enhancement in HIV service delivery, economic empowerment, skills development and advocacy for increased access to essential services. Core program areas are Advocacy and Networking, Positive prevention, Psychosocial Care and support to WLHIV and their families and Human rights and HIV/AIDS including Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. NACWOLA works mainly through Community Support Agents (CSAs)/Volunteers who provide community based support for mobilization, follow up and bridge the gap between Health Centres and the community. These CSAs are HIV+ women themselves and are working within their own communities. This approach ensures maximum impact through grass-roots and bottom-up approach. The community based working approach also ensures identification of clients for e.g. SRH services, PMTCT, adherence to drugs, demand creation, fighting of stigma, discrimination and SRHR, provide peer psychosocial support and referral and is utilized for evidence and grass-roots based advocacy at regional and national level.
NACWOLA started as a support group in one of the ‘The AIDS Support Organization’s (TASO) centers by three HIV positive women due to the desperate lack of information on HIV & AIDS among women that existed at the time. The aim of NACWOLA was to provide a platform for fellowship, mutual support, hope and a voice to women living with HIV/AIDS. Specifically the organization focused on advocacy to raise awareness on HIV/ AIDS issues and fight stigma through the rights-based approach aimed at promoting positive living by promoting equitable access to treatment, care and support, NACWOLA has over the time incorporated gender issues to bring on board men in addressing issues that affect women and children. NACWOLA branches are located in Arua, Nebbi and Adjumani in West Nile, Lira, Gulu and Kitgum in the North and Soroti, Katakwi and Kumi in the North East, Hoima and Masaka in North Western, Mbarara and Kasese in the West, Mbale, Pallisa, Bugiri, Kamuli, Iganga and Tororo in the East, Rukungiri in the South, and in Wakiso, Luwero, Mukono and Kampala (with six Sub-branches of Kamwokya, Bapet, Rubaga, Nsambya, Namirembe and Mulago), Namutumba, Kaliro and Mayuge.