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WHO selects innovative Brazillian HIVST programme

Communications Campaign

The HIV Department at the World Health Organization organized a call for best practice examples on HIVST. Providers from different WHO submitted their proposal, an HIVST programme in Brazil was selected and included based on priority areas identified thought the peer review process and through consultation with the Steering Committee and Guideline Development Group. 

“A hora é agora” (“The time is now”), is a comprehensive programme to increase HIV testing and linkage to care among men who have sex with men in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. The programme uses a secure web-based platform (www. ahoraeagora.org/) and both iOS and Android apps to offer men who have sex with men free oral-fluid HIV self-testing (HIVST) (up to two kits every six- months), as well as condoms and lubricants, and support to promote linkage to care.

Men can access video tutorials and multimedia instructions on how to correctly use the HIVST kit and interpret the results; they can receive additional support through a 24/7 telephone hotline. Individuals with a reactive or inconclusive self-test result are instructed to seek confirmatory testing at Curitiba´s HIV counselling and testing centre (COA), where those with a reactive self-test are given confirmatory testing and if confirmed HIV-positive then supported to link to treatment and care. This programme is actively promoted using virtual and mobile media (social networking, dating websites), as well as face-to-face peer interventions at social/sexual gatherings.

As of 31 January 2016, the programme distributed over 4,000 HIVST kits, the majority of which were sent by mail. 17% (432/2527) of men who have sex with men who requested a HIVST kit self-reported their test results through the web-based platform. Out of these, 4% (19/432) reported having a reactive self-test result. Overall, 81% (30/37) of men who have sex with men who reported self-testing and received confirmatory testing at the COA were confirmed HIV-positive.

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Posted: 27 November 2016