WHO steps ahead for increasing HIV treatment
WHO has prequalified the first HIV self-test in a move to increase HIV diagnosis and treatment. The product, OraQuick HIV
Self-Test (manufactured by OraSure Technologies Inc.) uses oral fluid as a specimen and provides results in as little as twenty minutes.
The move also marks a significant step in allowing countries to implement WHO guidelines, released in 2016, recommending HIV self-testing as a complementary approach to reach those who remain undiagnosed due to fear of stigma and discrimination.
In 2016, an estimated 30% of all people living with HIV remained unaware of their HIV status, many from higher risk populations who are either less likely to approach a health facility or are unable to do so.
There is currently great interest from the international community in deploying tests intended for HIV self-testing, with numerous countries having developed national guidelines and plans for implementation.