With the continuously rising rates of HIV cases, a significant number of surveys had shown that a lot of people are still unaware of that they are infected with the virus. Recently, the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) Register, together with chief executive officer Amos Masango has revealed that a do-it-yourself HIV/Aids testing kits will soon be available in pharmacies especially for those who are afraid of the stigma and also to increase awareness.
The DIY HIV Testing Kits
In one of his statements reported by IOL, Masango explains that the initial ban on the HIV self-testing kits has officially been lifted with the aim of binding pharmacists to highlight to their customers that should they be tested positive at home, it is a must for them to have a second HIV test for confirmation purposes. He adds the need of these pharmacists to ensure that the customer is capable to interpret the results of the test, while also remembering that the results are not conclusive since they would still need to go to a medical practitioner before finally confirming the results.
Meanwhile, as per Times Live, deputy director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Francois Venter, has also revealed that for those online retailers such as Takealot, they would only be selling World Health Organization-approved HIV home-test kits that allegedly use a pinprick of blood to immediately give the results within 15 minutes. Furthermore, the deputy director along with other health experts said that the kits are considerably accurate since it has the ability to provide a 99 percent accuracy. It was found that in line with UN goals with regards to HIV, the government plans to have 90% of people to become aware of their HIV status, and 90% of HIV-positive people on treatment, by 2020. Ultimately, senior programme manager at the Reproductive Health and HIV Institute at Wits, Michelle Moorhouse has also revealed that there's no harm in self-testing since it is rather considered as empowering and studies that were done so far have demonstrated it is safe.