Stellenbosch University places power to test for HIV in community’s hands

The 227-page guide includes information on home-based testing, holistic client-centred services and quality assurance for HIV testing.

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CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University researchers have released a new guide to give communities the power to test for HIV. It's based on extensive research and field work involving multiple mobile HIV clinics.

Researchers are hoping it will help narrow the gap between health services and community members.

The Practical Guide to Implementing community-based HIV-prevention services came about through a collaboration between experts at the Desmond Tutu TB Centre, non-profit organisations and others.

The 227-page guide includes information on an array of topics, including home-based testing, holistic client-centred services and quality assurance for HIV testing.

Researchers hope the guide will be useful throughout Africa.

Lead author Sue-Ann Meehan says it will be translated into Afrikaans, isiXhosa, French, isiZulu and Portuguese.

“It has very practical ways of how to go about doing that and how to go about addressing challenges with implementing community based services.”

United Nations Aids Programme statistics suggest nearly 20% of the 36.7 million people living with the virus globally, live in South Africa.

This country also has the largest antiretroviral programme in the world with 3.3 million people on treatment.