No fewer than 1,399,684 persons have undertake the new HIV/AIDS Self Testing (HIVST) to know their status, a data made available to The Pioneer Health indicates that within the year 2021 under review. Of this, 60,735 of the persons testedpositive to the epidemic.
The ORAQUICK testing method introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a device to reduce HIV burden in the world.
It gives individuals the opportunity to screen themselves of HIV at any location and time of choice.
So far, 77 countries of the world is using the HIVST and more countries are developing interest to join the services.
The WHO is taking step to scale the uptake of HIVST by the 2030 and therefore sets 95-95-95 target for zero infection as 95 per cent of the population is targeted for treatment.
With this, 95 per cent HIV positive persons are expected to know their status, the same 95 per cent are expected to be on sustained Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART), for viral load reduction.
The HIVST is considered to be the safest and effective testing strategy to overcome associated barriers in the fight against HIV.
“HIVST is one form of screening to open preferred and potentially safer service access pathway with enormous range of options both assisted and unassisted,” said Dr Patrick Ikanni, medical expert.
According to Ikanni, project director, Family Health International (FHI-360) after testing, if the result is non-reactive, the person should continue in prevention, such as repeating the test after three months, but if re-active the person would need to go for a confirmatory test in a nearby health facility before starting treatment.
Ikanni stressed that keying into the innovation will go a longway to reduce HIV infection.
He urged the populace to embrace the life saving HIV treatment and prevention service.
Ikanni described HIVST as a means for people to know their status, saying that the rate at which more countries have shown interest in utilizing the device, underscores the importance of it in the fight against HIV.
For maximum uptake of the HIVST, the South-South Zonal Office of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA)headed by Dr Uduak Daniel, as zonal coordinator has intensified the need for the media to sensitize the public on the need to embrace the service through using the HIV media advocacy platform.