Local NGO launch HIV self-testing campaign

DAR ES SALAAM: A local Non-governmental Organization Dare launched a HIV self-testing campaign on Wednesday in an attempt to support the government’s effort to combat the infectious disease in the country.

Tanzania’s HIV Impact Survey of 2022/23 indicated that at least 4.4 percent of people aged 15 and older were living with HIV. The survey included almost 36,000 participants from all 31 regions of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Dare said at the launching ceremony that it was working with the Network of Young People Living with HIV (NYP+) to encourage young people to self-test their HIV status.

Dare’s Director Dr. Lilian Benjamin told reporters the campaign aims to provide awareness and access to accurate information about their infection status under the JIPIME test kit campaign. The campaign, she said, targets people aged 18 years and above.

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Dr Lilian explained that the JIPIME test is easy to use, involving an oral fluid test that provides results within 20 to 40 minutes. This is a crucial step in controlling HIV infections as it allows young people to know their status early and take appropriate health measures.

Cyprian Narzis, Coordinator at NYP+, emphasized the importance of self-testing and knowing one’s infection status for maintaining good health and happiness.

He highlighted that this step is important not only for personal health but also for protecting others, as it helps reduce new infections.

Narzis said HIV is still prevalent and new infections continue to be reported.

Testing for HIV is a critical public health intervention because it is the first step towards treatment and care. With current antiretroviral treatment, people who test positive can expect to live a healthy life with HIV without passing it on to anyone else.

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