WHO recommends HIV self-test with kit to India
NEW DELHI,Dec1:: The World Health Organisation (WHO) for the first time has recommended HIVself-testing in the privacy of one’s home using HIV kit, a move that may result in a major breakthrough in HIV treatment by improving access to diagnosis.
Though India currently does not allow HIV self-test, the UN agency’s guidance has even prompted the health ministry here to evaluate the proposal. “We will certainly look at WHO’s recommendations and evaluate how it can be adopted,” said C K Mishra, secretary to the health ministry.
The move assumes significance as the lack of HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to reducing the burden of the infection worldwide because it hinders the government and public health agency to offer anti-retroviral therapy or other treatment options to those suffering from the disease. Estimates show around 87% of HIV-infected people in India are not even aware that they are suffering from the disease and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. Globally, around 40% of all people with HIV or over 14 million remain unaware of their status.