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India Embraces HIV-Self Testing

March 13, 2023 • 5:48 pm CDT
by Virat Maurya
(Precision Vaccinations News)

Communities in India have voiced strong interest in accessing HIV self-testing, says the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The WHO today announced it recommends HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an important approach to address gaps in HIV diagnoses, including among key populations in India.

HIVST can also generate demand for prevention services and facilitate pre-exposure prophylaxis delivery. 

The first of the United Nations’ 95-95-95 targets to end the HIV epidemic is for 95% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status by 2025. HIV testing is therefore essential to achieving “the first 95”.

A report launched in New Delhi in 2022 showed HIVST is acceptable to key populations and their partners in India. 

In the U.S., clinicians are recommended to screen for HIV infection in all pregnant women, including those who present in labor or at delivery and whose HIV status is unknown.

And screening is endorsed for certain adolescents and adults who are at increased risk of HIV infection.

Globally, 98 countries now have policies supportive of HIVST, and 52 are routinely implemented, yet many countries have not yet introduced HIVST as a routine approach. 

Until HIV-preventive vaccine candidates are approved, HIVST is a key component to reducing infections.

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