The government of Tanzania said on Saturday plans were afoot to initiate a program for HIV self-testing, where an individual will be able to use saliva or blood to discover their status.

Faustine Ndugulile, the east African nation’s Deputy Minister for Health, said for Tanzania to cut down rates of HIV transmission, it was prudent to embark on the self-testing strategy.

He cited reports showing that not many people in the country go for HIV screening at various centers.

“Especially the men,” he pointed out adding: “Even when they go, they take long to start taking ARVs.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis.

According to the guidelines, results of HIV self-testing are ready within 20 minutes or less. Those with positive results are advised to seek confirmatory tests at health clinics.

According to statistics by the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS), Tanzania has an estimated 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS but only 52 percent of them are aware of their condition.

The disease has mostly affected the youth aged between 14 and 25 years, says TACAIDS. Enditem


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