MANILA, 1 December 2016 – HIV self-testing is an empowering and innovative way to reach the estimated 1.8 million people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific who do not know their status. The new WHO guidelines released ahead of World AIDS Day this year recommend that self-testing be offered as an additional HIV testing service. For the Western Pacific Region, having the option for an individual to perform an HIV test on his or her own will help to overcome legal and social barriers to HIV service access often faced by key populations, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people.
Test early and treat all to eliminate AIDS: Viet Nam demonstrates community-based testing and treatment
In June 2016, WHO published HIV treatment guidelines that removed limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV. If implemented worldwide, the new "treat all” recommendations could be pivotal. If all people living with HIV were receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy, the Sustainable Development Goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 could shift from being ambitious to being achievable. Long before the guidelines were released, Viet Nam was already exploring options for testing and treating everyone living with HIV.
Sok Chantha a former sex worker in Cambodia was devastated when he discovered that he was HIV positive in 2011. Not wanting to believe he had the virus, he went for testing a few more times before finally accepting that he had HIV and starting treatment.
Testing and counselling is the essential first step for people to learn their HIV status and a gateway to access prevention, treatment and care services. However, in Asia, less than half of all people currently living with HIV know their HIV status. For people from key populations like Chantha (men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, people who inject drugs and sex workers and their clients, people in prisons and other closed settings), knowledge of their HIV status can be even less.
China, May 2015 – China is determined to move forward to triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B. Implemented in Yunnan province, one of the provinces most affected by HIV in China, this case study presents the expansion of national pilot programme from 2005 to 2009 and accelerated efforts for an "integrated prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B (iPMTCT)” from 2010 to 2012.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
680 000people were receiving ART in the Region in 2015More on ART
48%maternal ARV coverage in the Regionby the end of 2015More on PMTCT
70%children below the age of 15 years were on ART in the Region in 2015More HIV/AIDS data & statistics