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World AIDS Day 2016: WHO Encourage People To Get Tested

By Monica U Santos , Dec 04, 2016 10:00 AM EST
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The World AIDS Day is December 1, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging South Carolinians to get tested, the agency announced today. Aside from DHEC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are encouraging all to get tested. In fact, WHO issues new guidance on HIV self-testing ahead of World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day 2016: WHO Encourage People To Get Tested

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations. The head of WHO is Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun.

WHO has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis. HIV self-testing means people can use oral fluid or blood-finger-pricks to discover their status on their own. According to a new WHO progress report lack of an HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered antiretroviral therapy (ART).

The report reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status. Today, 40% of all people with HIV (over 14 million) remain unaware of their status. Many of these are people at higher risk of HIV infection who often find it difficult to access existing testing services.

"Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others," said Dr Margaret Chan. "HIV self-testing should open the door for many more people to know their HIV status and find out how to get treatment and access prevention services."

World AIDS Day Report By WHO

Aside from the new guidelines on HIV self-testing to encourage countries to promote self-testing and empower more people to test for HIV, WHO is also launching a new progress report "Prevent HIV: test and treat all – WHO action for country impact." he report shows that more than 18 million people living with HIV have access to HIV treatment, but many more lack HIV diagnosis and consequently are missing out on treatment.

The global HIV epidemic claimed fewer lives in 2015 than at any point in almost twenty years. Prevention programmes reduced the number of new HIV infections per year to 2.1 million in 2015, a 35% decline in incidence since 2000. The massive expansion of antiretroviral therapy has reduced the number of people dying of HIV related causes to approximately 1.1 million 2015 – 45% fewer than in 2005.

 

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