Joint statement by UNAIDS and WHO on mandatory HIV testing in Zambia

Joint statement by UNAIDS and WHO on mandatory HIV testing in Zambia Joint statement on knowing your HIV status.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) commend the Government of Zambia for its commitment to ensuring that people in Zambia know their HIV status, have universal access to Antiretroviral therapy and are virally supressed in line with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020; and achieve the overall goal to ending AIDS by 2030 as a public health threat.

Of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in Zambia, only 67% know their status. There are therefore, approximately 400,000 people who do not know that they are living with HIV. The situation calls for intensive, innovative and effective HIV testing strategies that are in line with WHO and UNAIDS global guidance.

Zambia has adapted the WHO Consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services (HTS) in line with the key principles of Consent, Confidentiality, Counselling, Correct Test Results and connection to HIV prevention, treatment and care (the 5Cs principles).

Zambia has been implementing Provider Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC) since 2008. WHO and UNAIDS welcome the government’s call to reinforce the implementation of universal routine HIV testing in line with the above 5C principles.

In this regard, WHO and UNAIDS will continue to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to provide technical support and guidance in the review and dissemination of HIV testing services protocols and standard operating procedures to ensure that they are in line with the global recommendations of human rights based approaches.

WHO and UNAIDS call upon all Zambians to access HIV Testing Services, know their HIV status; and those tested positive start and adhere to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in order to achieve sustained viral suppression.

For further information, please contact Dr Lastone Chitembo (WHO) email:  Chitembol@who.int and Narmada Acharya (UNAIDS) Email: AcharyaN@unaids.org

Offices located at UN Annex, Andrew Mwenya/Beit Roads, Rhodes Park, Lusaka.

Tel: +260 211252645, +26021125350

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