New global initiative launched to improve testing for HIV in labs

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HIV/AIDS test in one of the labs of the Ministry of Health.Amman. Jordan. Photo: © UNAIDS/G.Pirozzi

A new initiative has been launched by the UN and its global and regional partners to improve testing for the HIV virus in laboratories.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, made the announcement on Wednesday on the margins of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

The Diagnostics Access Initiative focuses on ensuring that at least 90 per cent of all people living with HIV know their status, the agency said.

Around 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV do not know they have the virus.

Partners in the initiative will advocate for greater funding for high-quality laboratory services and for the development of new diagnostic tools.

To ensure early diagnosis of HIV, laboratory procedures need to be simplified and multiple testing tools and strategies made available.

According to UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, testing for HIV has to be made simpler in order for people to start life-saving treatment when they need it.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’10″

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