, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 134-141
Date: 24 Mar 2013

HIV Testing: Current Practice and Future Directions

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Abstract

New approaches to expanding HIV testing and effective treatment and the wider availability of rapid testing technology have created new opportunities for achieving national and global HIV testing goals. In spite of HIV testing expansion in many settings, growing evidence of the prevention benefits of HIV testing, and the development of new, cost-effective approaches to HIV testing service provision, formidable obstacles to HIV testing expansion persist. Inequitable testing coverage exists within and across countries. While the proportion of people with HIV aware of their status is about 80 % in the U.S., the majority of HIV-infected persons in Africa are unaware of their status. Testing of most-at-risk populations, couples, children, and adolescents pose still unresolved policy and programmatic challenges. Future directions for HIV testing include rapid testing technology and detection of acute HIV infection, self-testing expansion, and partner notification. Expanded routine HIV screening and widespread testing is a public health imperative to reach national and international HIV prevention and treatment goals.