World AIDS Day 2015: Increasing HIV testing in the right places at the right time

1st December 2015

IPPF is also supporting new approaches to reach more people with high impact interventions at the right place at the right time.

Latest statistics from UNAIDS show that of the 36.9 million people living with HIV globally, 17.1 million people do not know they have the virus and need to be reached with HIV testing services.

The only way to achieve global HIV treatment targets is to reach all people at risk of HIV infection with HIV testing services. The first target being 90 per cent of people living with HIV know their HIV status by 2020. Early diagnosis of HIV infection and immediate access to antiretroviral therapy safeguards the health of people living with HIV and greatly reduces the chance of further transmission of the virus.

A key requirement is the rapid scale-up of innovative HIV testing outside of traditional health facilities. This includes community-based approaches to bring HIV tests to more convenient locations where people live and work. These include community screening initiatives, mobile testing services, school and workplace testing, and self-testing methods.

Innovative testing strategies that are sensitive to stigma and privacy concerns are also required to close treatment gaps for those who are left behind, including adolescents, young people and key populations.

HIV testing services are a critical component of the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services provided by IPPF. Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 18.1 million HIV diagnostic testing services were provided, with an increase from 2 million in 2010 to 4.8 million in 2014. This increase was greatly influenced by two service delivery approaches: use of rapid diagnostic tests, and community-based HIV testing services.

Working together as a global Federation, we aim to bring HIV testing and treatment services closer to the people who need them, by implementing innovative community-based, client-centred models in high-prevalence settings and within key populations.

Alan Smith, IPPF’s Senior HIV Advisor said:

“IPPF is committed to supporting the UNAIDS Fast Track targets, particularly with our historically strong HIV testing services. HIV testing is a key entry point to other HIV and sexual and reproductive health services.”

“Within IPPF’s new Strategic Framework, our goal is to provide over 400 million HIV-related services between 2016 and 2022. A significant proportion of these will be HIV testing services.”