The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomed a new report by UNAIDS that shows great gains in HIV testing, and getting people to know their HIV status. Knowledge is Power, the report released just prior to World AIDs Day on 1 December, shows that 75 percent of people living with HIV aware of their status in 2017, compared with 67 percent in 2015.
Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said that getting more people to test for HIV is a fundamental first step towards ending the HIV epidemic.
“To control HIV as a public health threat, we have to make sure that everyone knows their status so that those with HIV can start treatment and those who are negative can access prevention services,” said Sands.
With the knowledge about their status, people can better make decisions about how to protect themselves from acquiring the virus, including using condoms and PrEP. The Global Fund is making renewed investments in HIV prevention programs, especially those focused on preventing HIV among young women and girls in East and Southern Africa and for key populations everywhere. To achieve results in prevention, HIV testing is fundamental.
The Global Fund supports access to testing services for the most marginalized, and seeks to address the human rights and other barriers that keep people away from testing. “It all starts with knowing your status,” said Sands. “This World AIDS Day, it’s great to see that partners are getting more people than ever to know their HIV status.”
The report also highlights how innovative testing services such as outreach and self-testing can help increase the number of people who get tested for HIV.by