What is the Potential for HIV Self-Testing in Africa?
While global scale up of HIV testing services has been significant over the past ten years, an estimated 46% of people living with HIV globally and 49% of people living with HIV in Africa are unaware of their status and are therefore not accessing anti-retroviral therapy and continue to transmit HIV unknowingly.
Current HIV testing services approaches do not reach those still remaining undiagnosed, especially men, adolescents — particularly girls — key populations and other populations at high risk of HIV infection. This is most often because either services are not accessible to them or because people are concerned about lack of privacy and fear of stigma and discrimination.
Many people living with HIV only present at health care facilities late, when they are already ill, reducing their chance of successful treatment. Currently 1 in 5 people living with HIV globally are starting anti-retroviral therapy at an advanced stage of their illness.