1 December 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day with India, third in the list of HIV patients in the world, having 2.1 million people living with HIV.
HIV self-testing (HIVST), is a test option recommended by WHO.
A person can collect his/her own specimen (oral fluid or blood) and then perform an HIV test and interpret the result, in a private setting, either alone or with someone he or she trusts.
HIVST is a voluntary test and not coercive or mandatory. HIVST is acceptable among various groups of users in diverse settings, like:
- Young people
- Health workers
- Pregnant women and their male partners.
HIVST does not provide a definitive HIV-positive diagnosis as, a single rapid diagnostic test (RDT) is not enough to make an HIV-positive diagnosis.
HIVST is a test for triage to help individuals with a reactive test result to receive further testing, from a trained tester using a valid national testing strategy.
Printed instructions – written and/or pictorial – should support the kit for correct use and interpretation. In-person demonstrations of how to use an HIVST kit should be provided, along with additional population-specific information, particularly for rural settings or where literacy and formal education level is low.
“Stop new HIV infections now! Prevent – Test – Treat “.
HIV can be transmitted through,
- Infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
- The most common ways for HIV to be transmitted is through unprotected sexual contact and/or
- Sharing needles with an HIV-positive person.