XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Streamlined group HIV rapid testing reduces stigma

M. Adair1, S. Sayana1, D. Nazarov2, T. Ford2

1AIDS Healthcare Foundation, HCC, Los Angeles, United States, 2AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF Worldwide, Los Angeles, United States

Issue: It is believed many people do not get HIV testing because of stigma. This is important regarding Public health concerns of increasing HIV transmission. Of the estimated 33 million people infected half do not know their status. In order to find these people and get them into care we would need to test at least 1 billion people.
Description: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, (AHF) developed a testing model of streamlined group pre-test counseling, with shorter post test counseling time. Referrals were given to treatment centers for HIV positives. We were able to test over 1000 people in one day using our model. This was achieved with mobilization of large community areas with bill board advertisements, radio and newspaper announcements for testing days.

Streamlined Group HIV Rapid Testing
[Streamlined Group HIV Rapid Testing ]

Lessons learned: During the extended World AIDS Day 2009, AHF and partners tested over 4 million people. Long lines of people showed up at HIV testing sites without fear of being seen. Parades of marching bands lead thousands of people to testing sites in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe
Next steps: Given that over 4 million people sought HIV testing, stigma is not the reason people do not go for testing. Instead it is the lack of access to free HIV testing and referrals to treatment/care. We strongly urge others to adapt to new models of testing.

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