UNITAID calls for proposals to scale up HIV self-testing

GENEVA, 17 January – UNITAID is calling for proposals to create and accelerate the demand for and adoption of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in low and middle-income countries, particularly among underserved populations at high risk of HIV infection.

While access to HIV testing services has increased significantly over the last two decades, more than 40 percent of people living with HIV still do not know their status. To meet the ambitious 2020 HIV treatment targets set by the United Nations, HIV testing must increase.

HIVST has proven an effective way to reach first-time testers and facilitate regular re-testing, particularly among people at high risk. Emerging evidence from UNITAID’s STAR project, the largest evaluation of HIVST in Africa to date, also shows a high linkage to care following a positive diagnosis.

Nevertheless, HIVST remains largely unaffordable, limiting its use and further product development, despite recent guidelines from the World Health Organisation that recommend that countries incorporate HIVST as an additional approach to HIV testing services.

Under the call published today, UNITAID is soliciting proposals that will stimulate demand for HIVST, and drive widespread adoption of HIVST at scale through various delivery models.

If your organization is interested in submitting a proposal, you can find the call for applications, as well as the full details of how to prepare and submit a proposal, here.

The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2017 at noon CET.

Original Article