China to Make Self Testing Kits More Available to Promote Battle Against HIV
China is planning to make HIV testing kits more available in efforts to diagnose as many people and to provide them with the proper treatment. The decision to make the kits more available was disclosed by the leading AIDS specialist in China Wu Zunyou. He said that all outlets ranging from online shopping platforms to drugstores will be approached for the distribution of the test kits. Although there is no set date given it is scheduled to start soon.
Even with policy restraints, Wu said that they will pilot and promote the use of the HIV self testing kits by making it readily available and accessible as current screening process is losing momentum in detecting patients. Health authorities are urging people to seek free HIV screening at government operated testing and voluntary counseling clinics that are found nationwide. But stil people are ashamed to get tested due to the fear that their HIV status will be confirmed and be known which might result to discrimination. Although the number of HIV test have increase by more than 400 percent from 2007 to 2015 its detection rte fell by 50 percent.
Last year alone around 100 million tests were done from government run outlets such as voluntary counseling, public hospitals and testing clinics. WU hopes that by making the test with anonymity by opening new outlets will encourage people to come and get tested. Self testing might provide a solution and help those under the radar to seek proper care, counseling and treatment. A sales report given by an online medical provider Ali-Health showed a substantial increase in sales of HIV self testing kits that uses oral swabs in collecting samples. These type of kits are popular among people aged 20 to 29 and is priced at 30 to 200 yuan.
Online platforms such as social networking sites are the most efficient tools in delivering information and support to self testers, but more research and investigation is needed to further promote self testing kits to people.