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U.N. “Test And Treat” Intervention Gives Hope To End HIV Pandemic, Study In Africa Shows

Update Date: Jul 21, 2016 10:31 AM EDT
AIDS Treatment Advocates March On US Consulate For Increased Funding
SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 17: HIV/AIDS activists demonstrate in front of the American consulate on June 17, 2010 in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton, South Africa. More than a thousand demonstrators marched demanding that the US government increase its funding for anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to treat Africans with HIV/AIDS. South Africa has the most people living with HIV of any nation in the world. (Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)

A study in East Africa showed that the goal of the United Nations (U.N.) to get seven of 10 patients with HIV virus to become more involved and proactive in the treatment process is “achievable.”

The result of the study was presented at the International AIDS Conference in the region Wednesday, highlighting that U.N. has succeeded in enjoining people to take the test and begin medication in the hopes to contain the deadly virus in their blood.

An estimated 80, 000 individuals from Uganda and Kenya participated in the study aimed at encouraging people to determine the status of the HIV virus in their bloodstream. Using the community campaigns and additional interventions including free testing and tests at home, the U.N. was able to promote treatment in the local communities.

Success was evident in numbers recorded at 81 percent of people with HIV, a significant increase from 45 percent two years ago. Researchers attributed the increase to the willingness of the people with HIV to go out and get tested, agreed to undergo medication and to stay on with the treatment.

Following the success, the UNAIDS has again set new targets for 2020.

From 81 percent, the UN agency dealing with HIV hopes to increase the numbers to 90 percent. The group aims to encourage 90 percent of people with HIV to go on treatment and have the virus in their bloodstream contained.

The agency expressed confidence that this can be achieved despite the challenges met in the UN intervention. Stigma around testing has remained one of the key factors why people refused to go out and participate in the AIDS initiatives.

Statistics show that 36.7 million people are reported to be HIV positive but as Reuters reported, only 17 million people have agreed to undergo test and start antiretroviral treatment. The International AIDS society says an estimated 2.1 million people have been recorded new infections in 2015.

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