WHO calls on countries to expand HIV testing and treatment

As Kenya Joins the rest of the world in marking World Aids day Tuesday, the World Health Organization has called on countries to expand HIV testing and treatment to people who need it.

This is as the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that many countries around the world have introduced more self-testing for HIV to support self-care to avoid the need of patients visiting clinics or hospitals.

According to the WHO director general, a record 26 million people are actively on antiretroviral treatment leaving out at least 12 million people living with HIV due to the slow pace occasioned by disruptions to treatment and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That gap is jeopardizing our goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” he said.

Over the past 10 years, new HIV infection has declined by 23 per cent in 2010 and AIDS related deaths falling by 39 per cent.

Although, a survey conducted on 127 countries by WHO showed that more than a quarter reported partial disruption to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV.

“This increased risk has been compounded by disruptions to treatment for people living with,” said the WHO Director General.

“With support from the WHO and the work of health care workers, the number of countries reporting disruptions in HIV services has declined by almost 75 per cent since June,” he added.

Only seven countries are still reporting disruptions with 12 countries reporting low stock of antiretroviral medicines.

He added, “This is mainly due to countries implementing WHO guidelines, including providing longer prescriptions of antiretroviral for three to six months, so patients can avoid health facilities.”

  

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