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A new service provided by NGOs: counseling and HIV testing for most at-risk groups of population

© UNICEF Moldova 2013

   On November 12, 2013 the "Youth for the Right to Live" NGO from Balti (TDV Balti ) received a first batch of 475 samples of rapid saliva based HIV tests for investigating drug users, sex workers and other vulnerable groups of population. Rapid saliva based test is a qualitative method that detects antibodies to HIV with laboratory precision in just 20 minutes. Previously the service was provided only by public health institutions in the country. As of October 18, 2013, the standards for non-governmental organizations in provision of rapid saliva based HIV tests for vulnerable groups have been officially approved by the Ministry of Health and NGOs that are working with vulnerable groups of population and have staff trained are entitled to provide HIV testing. The change was ​​possible due to joint efforts of civil society, UN agencies, policy makers and health care institutions. "This is an important achievement for combating HIV/AIDS in Moldova", said Ala Iatco, president of TDV Balti NGO. "Rapid saliva based HIV tests done by NGOs means a greater number of people tested , more patients diagnosed and guided to specialized medical units and fewer people exposed to this infection".

   The rapid HIV saliva based testing will be carried out in three strategic locations in Balti, including the Youth Friendly Health Clinic "ATIS" targeting most at-risk adolescents and young people. Thus testing and counseling services will reach the most important groups of people who need them. An important condition for the service provision by NGO-s is to ensure individuals' privacy and confidentiality and have adequate furniture and equipment in place. The testing services will be performed by trained specialists in counseling and HIV testing .

   As of November 12, 2013 a group of volunteers from TDV Balti and ATIS have already started promoting the service among the targeted groups of population. More than 70 young people organized a flash mob where they distributed informational materials and had peer to peer discussions on HIV prevention and counseling. The event was conducted under “Strengthening capacity of non-state actors for HIV testing and counseling of most at risk adolescents and young people” regional UNICEF project funded by European Union.

   For more details please contact:

Irina Lipcanu, Press Officer, ilipcanu@unicef.org or

Angela Capcelea, Youth and Adolescent Development Specialist, acapcelea@unicef.org. Tel. 269 235; 269 137.

 

 
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