The Romanian AIDS Association, a member of the Plus coalition, is organizing the first edition of International HIV Testing Week in Romania. 700 people will be able to take an HIV test at home for free, thanks to a self-test by November 29, campaign coordinator Mihai Lixandru said.
In the first six months of 2020, 75% fewer HIV tests were performed due to measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 cases compared to the same period in 2019.
International Testing Week is an initiative of the PLUS coalition, an international network of organizations to fight HIV and viral hepatitis, of which ARAS is a member. The campaign aims to raise awareness among the general public and vulnerable people about the issue of HIV testing, the first step towards this epidemic. In this first edition, ARAS in partnership with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases “Prof. Dr. Matei Balș, ”is leading a nationwide pilot project on self-testing to improve access to HIV testing. for all sections of the population so that as many people as possible know their HIV status to start appropriate treatment to help stop transmission.
Thanks to the support offered by Coalition Plus, 700 people will be able to get tested at home, thanks to HIV self-testing, which ARAS will send free of charge by express mail. Despite progress in recent years, access to testing and early diagnosis remains a problem in most countries around the world. Almost 50% of newly diagnosed cases in Romania are diagnosed late each year as early as the AIDS phase – according to data presented in the 2015-2019 national reports prepared by the HIV Monitoring and Evaluation Service. HIV / AIDS in Romania – INBI „Prof. Dr. Matei Balş «.
Testing is an important first step in controlling and stopping HIV / AIDS. Early detection has many benefits, especially for the individual who has access to specialized health services, but also for society at large. An early diagnosed patient will be able to reach an unnoticeable viral load earlier and therefore will not transmit the virus.
“Self-testing has become a necessity, especially in the current circumstances of coronavirus, as testing across the country has declined. As a result, we can provide everyone who wants to get tested with easy and very safe access to HIV testing, no matter where and on what day. said Mihai Lixandru, coordinator of International Testing Week – ARAS.