The HIV self testone of the most advanced methods for detecting this sexually transmitted disease, will be available for the first time Colombia thanks to a pilot project of the national government with international support.
The self test is a simple HIV screening test, voluntary, free and confidential that allows people to use two drops of blood extracted through a prick in the fingertip, to know the state of health in private. The results can be seen in 15 minutes maximum and does not require a prescription.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT IN COLOMBIA
It is a pilot project of 14,000 tests that will be distributed in BogotaCali, Medellín, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena and Pereira Dosquebradas, where citizens can access through the “Te Cuidamos” application.
In the case of a positive HIV self-test result and, after confirmation of the diagnosis by a health service, the person must receive care and access treatment.
The project is carried out by the National Company for the Promotion of Territorial Development and is financed by The Global Fund to Fight AIDStuberculosis and malaria, within the framework of the ‘Hey, Her, this is with you!’ education campaign.
According to specialist Carlos González, technical coordinator of the HIV response project in Colombiathe HIV self-test is reliable with results comparable to tests performed by third parties, but there is a period called immunological window in which the presence of the virus may not yet be detected and the test may be negative. Therefore, I recommend that if the person believes that they were at risk of becoming infected in the last month, consider postponing the performing the self-test until last 30 days.
For now, the home tests will not be available for free sale, but it is expected that the Ministry of Health soon define how it will be distributed in the health system and in pharmacies.