This piece originally ran on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
WHO recommends HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an important approach to address gaps in HIV diagnoses including among key populations (sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, and people in prisons other closed settings). Globally, 98 countries now have policies supportive of HIVST and 52 are routinely implementing, yet many countries have not yet introduced HIVST as a routine approach.
A report launched at a national event held in New Delhi last year showed HIVST is acceptable to key populations and their partners in India. As part of Unitaid-funded STAR Initiative, PATH led the implementation of HIVST project in India. Between September 2021 and June 2022, 93 380 HIVST kits were distributed in 50 districts across 14 States. These kits were distributed using 5 different service delivery models including community-based, private practitioner, community pharmacy, workplace and virtual models using both oral-fluid and blood-based kits. Communities found HIVST convenient and easy to use, the intervention was feasible to implement and led to identification of previously undiagnosed HIV infections.