Reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 HIV targets depends on 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status by 2020. Today, the global total is approximately 70%; however, recent trials have shown that access to HIV self-testing can increase testing rates broadly, helping to boost that percentage. As of November 2017, 40 countries have released HIV self-testing guidelines and many others are in the process of doing so. Partners – including donor organizations and self-test manufacturers – have pledged to improve access by making self-test kits available at reduced prices in low-income countries. In light of this, it is important to ensure that updated information is available about the potential impact of self-testing and about service delivery approaches that have successfully increased overall HIV testing rates and HIV status awareness.
The International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) hosted A webinar on HIV self-testing: The latest science and country implementation in action on Tuesday, 20 March 2018. The webinar aimed to bridge the gap between research developments presented at the 2018 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) and the growing momentum toward AIDS 2018. The conversation was moderated by Linda-Gail Bekker, President of IAS and Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Featured speakers included:
- Cheryl Case Johnson, Technical Officer, WHO HIV Department and Global Hepatitis Programme
- Philippe Girault, Technical Advisor, FHI 360, Thailand
- Musonda Simwinga, Community engagement lead and social scientist, Zambart, Zambia
- Nena Lentini, Deputy Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in Brazil
For more information on HIV self-testing, please visit: http://hivst.org/.