Community-based HIV testing shows promise in Vietnam

By Tauren Dyson

Dec. 31 (UPI) -- A new testing method for HIV has brought encouragement to researchers in Vietnam looking to curb the disease.

The study, published Monday in PLOS ONE, has shown that community-based testing, known as lay provider testing, has proven effective in identifying people who carry HIV. This method of testing rendered a higher HIV positivity rate versus facility-based testing.


"PATH is committed to achieving the global 90-90-90 goals by 2020 and to ending AIDS by 2030," Kimberly Green, director at PATH HIV & TB and study author, said in a news release.

PATH is a global team for healthcare professionals who work to "eliminate health inequities so people, communities, and economies can thrive."

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They partnered with Vietnam Ministry of Health, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population in Hanoi to increase HIV testing among groups with a high risk of contracting the disease.

The study is a part of the United Nations' effort to end the HIV epidemic by 2020.

That includes people who've tested for HIV for the first time, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with other men and female sex workers.


One in 3 people in Vietnam with HIV don't know they have it, according to the research.

"Innovation in HIV testing is absolutely critical to meet these ambitious targets, and community-based HIV testing offers a promising solution to connect undiagnosed people with the services they need," Green said.

The research aligns with data that suggests community-based testing can be effective in communities with high HIV rates like sub-Saharan Africa.

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