HIV testing is critically important to HIV prevention and treatment. Therefore UNAIDS has called for 90% of all HIV-positive individuals to be diagnosed by 2020. However, there are practical challenges associated with measuring progress towards this target. Many countries simply quote the proportion of adults who report having ever been tested for HIV in national household surveys. In a recent study, we attempted to obtain more accurate estimates of rates of HIV testing in South Africa, by combining survey data and routine testing data from health services. The results suggest that there is likely to be significant bias in self-reporting of past HIV testing. The results also show that South Africa has made substantial progress in scaling up access to HIV testing and counselling, with 76% of HIV-positive adults diagnosed by 2012. However, men and older adults appear to have a relatively low rate of HIV testing.
On June 19, 2012, SACEMA’s Brian Williams, also Senior Technical Adviser to Test & Treat to End AIDS, held a briefing in Washington DC in which he explained to US senators, members of congress, and staff how this strategy has the potential to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and, over time, to save billions of Read More
We need to move from theory to practice and fund, implement and evaluate the test-and-treat strategy.
The Lancet recently reported that universal HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) for everyone diagnosed with HIV in countries such as South Africa could reduce new infections by 95% within ten years. This article describes the benefits and objections (costs, human resources, side effects, drug resistance) to the idea of starting all HIV positives on ART in South Africa, including the way forward.