Forty percent of the people with HIV globally are unaware they are infected, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a statement yesterday (Tues 29th Nov) , two days ahead of World AIDS Day.
The WHO is advocating for broader access to self-testing kits to make it easier for those at risk to determine whether they are infected.
“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,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.
The report cited studies which found that providing self-testing kits nearly doubles the chances of men who have sex with men getting tested.
Late Diagnosis in Leicester
Late HIV diagnosis in Leicester is 13.8% higher than the average for England. HIV testing is a scary prospect to some and no one takes that for granted, but by taking the chance to be tested, you could be buying yourself years of life.
Do you know your HIV status? – The only way to know if you have HIV or not is to get a HIV test. You can do this for free at your doctor, free at an NHS clinic, free with charities like LASS and now you can even do a HIV test at home, at your convenience.
For more information on HIV Testing, please visit our website where you can find information about testing with us or other places in Leicester/shire and around the UK.
You can also apply for a FREE home sampling HIV kit or you can purchase your own self test kit. An explanation on the differences between testing methods is available in our HIV Testing Pages.
Self-testing would be particularly beneficial to populations that face a wide variety of barriers to testing centers; however, many of the financial constraints which prevent access to testing and treatment may similarly impede access to self-testing kits.
Still, the WHO noted significant improvements in HIV awareness and treatment in the past decade. In 2005, just 12 percent of those infected with HIV knew they had the AIDS virus. Last year, the number climbed to 60 percent. Additionally, 80 percent of those who know they are HIV-positive are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Wide-scale implementation of self-testing remains limited, but 23 countries currently have policies in place supporting it, and many other nations are developing similar policies.
You can read the full statement by the World Health Organisation here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/world-aids-day/en/
Want to know how a HIV test works? – See this video featuring Dr Christian on loose women .