By Karin Hatzold, Associate Director of HIV & Tuberculosis, PSI & Project Director of STAR
Innovations are vital to achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goals. HIV self-testing is one of those innovations, a simple concept, that changed forever the global health agenda. But unfortunately, innovations do not necessarily reach the people who need them the most. In 2015 major market barriers prevented HIV self-testing introduction in low- and middle-income countries where self-testing was most needed as an alternative to conventional testing services. In these countries there was no prequalified product, uncertain demand from consumers, lack of evidence on public health impact and cost-effectiveness of the intervention and no normative guidance in place to support HIV self-testing. Only three countries had policies that allowed HIV self-test use.
Population Services International and STAR Initiative invite you to watch this video that shows the trajectory of HIV self-testing as it becomes a game changing, transformative intervention that achieved equitable access rapidly, widely and sustainably over a timeframe of just seven years. The video is a testimony of strong partnerships and collaboration at international and country levels, under the technical leadership of WHO, enabled through a bold catalytic investment by a uniquely placed donor, Unitaid. The video shows how HIV self-testing has set the foundation for self-care as a critical layer within health systems that brings care to people’s doorsteps and into people’s hands.