It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. The old dog, in this case, is HIV self-testing, a technology first introduced in 2012 and a focus of international public health initiatives ever since. The new trick consists of innovative ways to make HIV self-testing available and attractive to previously hard-to-reach populations.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “HIV Testing Day” might not reflect today’s reality. Since the first National HIV Testing Day was observed on June 27, 1995, a lot has changed. What’s still true – now more than ever – is that HIV testing remains the key strategy for slowing the spread of HIV and AIDS.
We know that adherence is the key to prevention and treatment. But how do we ensure adherence in the face of the myriad individual, structural, financial, psychological, and social barriers that HIV-positive people need to overcome?
How do we make HIV prevention work? There’s plenty of theoretical knowledge; transforming knowledge into sustainable practice is the challenge. For longstanding biomedical prevention methods or new approaches alike, one critical component underlies sustainable HIV prevention: adherence.