XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Testing millions - the end of traditional VCT

Presented by Teresa Ford (United States).

T. Ford1, H. Fisher2, Z. Shabarova3, P. Campos4, N. Mabaso5, C. Sarath6, P. Iutung7

1AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF Worldwide, Los Angeles, United States, 2AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Global Advocacy, Los Angeles, United States, 3AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Eastern Europe Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 4AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Latin America Bureau, Guadalajara, Mexico, 5AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Southern Africa Bureau, Durban, South Africa, 6AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Asia Pacific Bureau, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 7AIDS Healthcare Foundation, East/West Africa Bureau, Kampala, Uganda

Issue: The majority of 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS are unaware of their HIV status. The traditional VCT model lacks the capacity and efficiency to provide the volume of tests required to reach one billion people globally each year. Therefore innovative methods are vital to quickly scale-up access to quality testing and treatment referrals.
Description: AIDS Healthcare Foundation and global partners from around the world mobilized non-governmental organizations, governments, faith-based organizations and civil society as part of the Testing Millions Campaign 2009 to provide nearly 4 million free HIV rapid tests during World AIDS Day Nov. 1 - Dec. 15, 2009.
The global testing campaign embraced a variety of rapid testing modalities, group pre-test counseling, and anti-retroviral treatment referrals to streamline large-scale, accessible testing. The campaign used a centralized database to capture and record testing data results. Marketing materials were easily retrievable online.
To date, 155 partners from 23 countries have reported 3,994,825 test results with a cumulative HIV prevalence rate of 4.13%. The campaign partnerships have established a new testing coalition to advocate with a unified global voice for accessible testing and treatment worldwide.
Lessons Learned: The success of the Testing Millions Campaign 2009 demonstrates that: 1. People want to be tested. 2. Stigma is not a barrier for people seeking access to free, fast and easy HIV rapid testing. 3. Group pre-test counseling significantly increases the flow and efficiency. 4. One minute rapid tests speed up the testing flow and allow for greater access. 5. Creative mobilization increases turnout.
Next Steps:
1. New testing modalities must be incorporated in national algorithms and reviewed, and approved by WHO.
2. Funding streams must include innovative mobilization and marketing strategies.
3. Streamlined counseling models must be implemented to increase access.
4. Emphasis must be placed on treatment referral systems.

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