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135 Countries To Slash HIV Self-test Kits By Half

135 Countries To Slash HIV Self-test Kits By Half

‘’Poorer’’ countries will soon be able to see access to HIV self-test kits increase in availability. This follows a drastic slash in prices and boosted production according to Unitaid.

The international health agency said it closed a deal with US-based global healthcare company Viatris. The deal will see blood-based self-test kits made available for under $2 across 135 low and middle-income countries.

These self-test kits are vital tools to help people discover their status more easily and affordably. This means that one will not have to move to the hospital every time they want to take a blood test. This is also a move to globally reduce the HIV/AIDS burden globally.

It is a move particularly relevant in poorer countries where there are high concerns of stigmatization and difficulty accessing health centers.

‘’Access to self-tests has been recognized as a key factor in meeting the global goal of 90% of people knowing their HIV status.’’ Unitaid spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said in a statement.

Meg Doherty heads the World Health Organization’s global HIV, hepatitis, and STI programs. She also hailed the wider availability of affordable HIV self-testing kits to increase access to testing.

She further said the announcement came at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic had limited access to testing.

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