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CROI 2017: Point-of-Care Testing Improves Infant HIV Diagnosis Rate, Treatment, and Retention

Using a point-of-care test to diagnose HIV in infants significantly improved retention in care, speeded up antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, and increased the proportion of infants who started treatment, a large randomized study in Mozambique has found. The results were presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections last month in Seattle.

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CROI 2017: How Should HIV Self-Testing Be Provided?

At a session on HIV self-testing at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this month in Seattle, researchers presented findings from studies looking at some of the unanswered questions about self-testing and how best to implement it, with examples from Malawi and the United States.

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June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (#NHTD), an opportunity to promote HIV screening and awareness of its importance as a gateway to the continuum of care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 8 of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV do not know they are infected, putting their long-term health at risk.

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World AIDS Day: World Health Organization Urges Scale-Up of HIV Self-Testing

The World Health Organization (WHO) this week launched new guidelines encouraging countries to support self-testing in an effort to get more people to learn their HIV status -- the first step toward getting on effective treatment, achieving viral suppression, halting disease progression, and preventing onward HIV transmission. WHO estimates that only 60% of people with HIV are aware of their status, and says that self-testing can help countries meet the UN target of diagnosing 90% of all people with HIV by 2020.

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Diagnosis of Early HIV Infections May Have Contributed to Fall in Incidence in San Diego

An HIV testing program targeting individuals with acute or early infection likely contributed to a decline in incident or new infections in San Diego after 2008, investigators report in the May 11 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The Early Test initiative involved negative HIV antibody tests being rescreened using nucleic acid testing (NAT) -- a technique capable of detecting new HIV infections within 7-10 days after exposure.

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AIDS 2016: Market Constraints and Uncertainties May Limit Scale-Up of HIV Self-Testing

There are 4 different HIV self-test products now manufactured and approved for sale in the U.S. and Europe, with a further 9 in the pipeline, but uncertainties about the level of demand and the prices that will be paid are limiting manufacturers’ interest in bringing products to market. Moreover, while self-testing may have the greatest potential in sub-Saharan Africa, the fragmented regulatory environment there could hamper scale-up in the region, Petra Stankard of Populations Services International said at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban.

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BHIVA 2016: First Data on Uptake of HIV Self-Testing in the U.K.

Between April 2015 and February 2016, almost 28,000 people have paid £29.95 (about US$45) for a kit allowing them to test for HIV at home, according to a presentation at the recent British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Manchester. Marketing on Grindr has been important in driving sales, which have been concentrated in non-urban areas.

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AIDS 2016: Access to Home Testing Doubles Frequency of HIV Testing Among Australian Gay Men

A randomized trial conducted with Australian gay men has shown that easy access to self-testing kits can double the frequency with which men test for HIV, with an even greater increase among men who used to test infrequently, Muhammad Jamil of the Kirby Institute reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban.

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Opt-Out HIV, HBV, and HCV Testing in Emergency Departments Identifies Many New Infections

A week-long pilot study involving 9 U.K. emergency departments has shown that routine opt-out testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can identify a significant number of previously undiagnosed infections, according to study results published in the March edition of HIV Medicine.

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