HIV Testing | in 20 Minutes you can test your self For Hiv at home

HIV Testing | in 20 Minutes you can test your self For Hiv at home

HIV Testing | in 20 Minutes you can test your self For Hiv at home
HIV Testing | in 20 Minutes you can test your self For Hiv at home

900 free HIV self-testing kits were sent to 120 locations across Bulgaria, thanks to a pilot project of Single Step Foundation with support from WHO.

A pilot project conducted in Bulgaria has shown that more people get tested for HIV when self-testing is available. In situations where testing is based in health-care institutions, it can be a challenge to encourage some people to come forward. Schools News & Updates Website

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“The worries in my community I think come from that many of them are still hidden, not just from their families but also from themselves,” said Teodor Paunov. “And also, the idea that it might happen to someone else, but it will never happen to me, so why would I get tested, I am fine.”

Community-based testing is a good way to overcome those barriers, but it can be labour intensive. Self-testing can be less expensive, and the pilot project clearly shows the role it can play. The findings are especially relevant to health authorities working hard to maintain essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools News & Updates Website

Testing for HIV is a critical public health intervention because it is the first step towards treatment and care. With current antiretroviral treatment, people who test positive can expect to live a healthy life with HIV without passing it on to anyone else.

The population groups in Bulgaria who are most vulnerable to HIV infection include gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. Despite progress in recent years, many MSM and transgender people in Bulgaria are not aware of their HIV status and are reluctant to seek testing at health institutions due to fear of potential stigma.

A simple saliva test with results in 20 minutes

The pilot project was conducted by local nongovernmental organization Single Step Foundation. Momchil Baev, Sexual Health and HIV Manager for the organization, said, “We offered MSM and trans people the opportunity to test for HIV completely for free, confidentially, in the comfort of their home, without having to visit a health centre or meet anyone. We used an approved oral test method, which detects antibodies to the HIV virus in saliva. It is easy, convenient and reliable. A swab is rubbed along the gums, then immersed into a reaction solution, and the result is available after 20 minutes.”



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