Home vs. Mobile Clinic-Based HIV Testing and Counseling in Rural Africa
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Home- and community-based HIV testing and counselling services can achieve high participation uptake in rural Africa but reach different populations within a community and should be provided depending on the groups that are being targeted, according to new research published in this week’s PLOS Medicine by Niklaus Labhardt from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and colleagues from SolidarMed, a Swiss non-governmental Organization for Health in Africa.
Annually, about 2.3 million people become newly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. A key step in receiving treatment for HIV and reducing further transmission of the virus is receiving HIV testing and counselling, but in countries where HIV is prevalent, such as many parts of rural Africa, access to these services can be limited by resources or because people fear stigmatization and discrimination. One option to improve HIV testing and counselling coverage is to provide this service to individuals in a community setting as part of a campaign that provides multiple health services (for example, family planning, TB screening and blood-pressure measurement) instead of relying on individuals visiting health facilities to be tested. However, the evidence base for how to deliver these services to test different populations is poor.
- Health Care