Self HIV testing: key to end HIV/AIDS in VN

Tuesday 18/02/2020 16:26

VGP – Viet Nam has set the target of reaching the 90-90-90 Plan, heading to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, however, the nation has to make more efforts to fulfill the target of 90% of HIV carriers knowing their status. 

It is estimated that 83% of HIV carriers in Viet Nam have been diagnosed. This means 17% of people living with HIV have not known their status. Thus early testing and diagnose has played a crucial role for the nation to soon reach the 90-90-90 Plan (by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status will be accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment will have suppressed viral loads).

HIV testing-gateway to early diagnose and HIV treatment 

Quick testing with test laytest and selftest have been used in Viet Nam since 2016. Since then, millions of tests have been carried out in the nation, uncovering tens of thousands of HIV carriers without entering health centers. 

Testing and self-testing at community has reduced burden for both individuals and the country’s health sector. 

LIFE Center in Ho Chi Minh City revealed that since 2016, the Center has connected 10,995 people to HIV treatment thanks to community-based testing, thus providing counseling and prevention support for nearly one million people. 

HIV testing is important as it is the gateway to the unique method to HIV diagnose and treatment. Undiagnosed HIV carriers have made contributions to 38% of new HIV carriers. 

Quick testing has expanded testing opportunity for high-risk groups of HIV, including men who have sex with men, transgender, drug addicts, prostitutes, partners of drug addicts. 

Since 2017, a new progress in testing has been transited from testing at laboratory from self-testing at community. This has laid a new landmark in communicating HIV testing to the community quickly and secretly, reducing discriminations and self-discriminations. 

In 2018, the nation has piloted 80,000 salvia tests OraQuick at high-risk groups at community in big cities such as Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Thai Nguyen Province and Can Tho City. 

Head of the office for supervision, monitoring, evaluation and testing, under the Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control, under the Ministry of Health Vo Hai Son said that HIV testing through salvia has been assessed with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 99%. This means now HIV positive carriers have not been missed. 

Salvia HIV testing helps customers launch self-testing at home in the future, which may normalize HIV testing and reduce discriminations against high-risk groups of HIV and ensure customers’ privacy. 

According to recent statistics, 70 nations in the world have released a policy allowing self HIV testing. 

By Thuy Dung

 

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