Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 30 Nov 2016 WHO promotes self te ...

WHO promotes self testing for people with HIV to enable better treatment

DECCAN CHRONICLE | TEENA THACKER
Published Nov 30, 2016, 6:24 pm IST
Updated Nov 30, 2016, 6:25 pm IST
HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that patients should get antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Twenty-three countries currently have national regulations that support HIV self-testing (Photo: AFP)
 Twenty-three countries currently have national regulations that support HIV self-testing (Photo: AFP)

New Delhi: In a significant breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) promoted the use of self testing, empowering people to know their HIV status in privacy and get treatment.

Ahead of International AIDS conference on December 1, the WHO released new guidelines on HIV self-testing.

 

“Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan in a news release.

Adding that “HIV self-testing should open the door for many more people to know their HIV status and find out how to get treatment and access prevention services".

According to a WHO lack of an HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered antiretroviral therapy (ART).

 

The report says more than 18 million people with HIV are currently on ART, but an equal number of people are still unable to access treatment, with many being unaware of their HIV positive status. "Today, 40 per cent of all people with HIV (over 14 million) remain unaware of their status," it further added.

As per the international experts, the new guidelines are likely to help countries scale up implementation of HIV self-testing and assisted HIV partner notification services.

HIV self-testing involves the use of oral Fluid or finger pricks to determine an individual’s personal HIV status in a private setting.

 

Importantly, the WHO found evidence that self-testing more than doubles testing uptake among men who have sex with men and male partners of women who are pregnant or postpartum.

Twenty-three countries currently have national regulations that support HIV self-testing, and many others are in the process of developing policies.

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