Mexico: rapid tests in community spaces to expand access to
early detection and treatment of HIV
J. Bedoya1, A. Jaime2, P. Campos3
1Healthcare Foundation, Prevention, Tijuana, B.C, Mexico, 2AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Prevention, Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, 3AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Latin American Bureau, Guadalajara, Mexico
Issues: Routine annually HIV testing and immediate linkage to treatment for HIV-positive clients could reduce the incidence and mortality to less than 1 case per thousand per year by 2016 and to less than 1% over the next 50 years. To enhance strategies for universal access to early detection and treatment in Mexico, AIDS Healthcare Foundation initiated a community-based Rapid Testing program in 2007.
Description: Contributions to achieving universal access to early detection and treatment included the buildup of synergies among more than 20 partnerships in 14 cities across Mexico. 286 people were trained to develop local programs. From January to December 2009, 40,000 clients were tested using rapid testing. The sites of application included public places, universities, UDIS rehabilitation centers and others. The rapid testing model focused on providing services to youth, MSM, TSX UDIS, women, indigenous, migrants, and other communities.
Lessons learned: This model is flexible to different contexts, successful and widely accepted by the population.
The following are key components for successful implementation: -Identifying allies and providing theoretical/practical training-Development of skills for preventive HIV counseling and rapid testing application
- Implementation of local schedules for target populations and strategic sites.-Bringing rapid testing to the community with a simple infrastructure that ensures compliance with pre- and post-test counseling, confidentiality and informed consent-Analysis of demographics and risk factors to better guide counseling
- Monitoring and evaluation of local programs.
Next steps: To realize the full effectiveness of this model, it should be replicated in other Mexican States and abroad. It is imperative that continuous efforts are put forth to advocate for legislative change that facilitates access to rapid testing as part of the commitment to universal access and treatment.
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