Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Online HIV testing platform a big hit in Bangkok


Mahidol University is working on an online HIV testing platform to enable those at risk to take a test without visiting the hospital.

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“A recent study revealed about one-third of male teenagers in Bangkok who have homosexual intercourse contracted HIV unknowingly,” said Asst Prof Thomas Guadamuz, who heads the Centre of Excellence in Research on Gender, Sexuality and Health at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University. “Furthermore, in Thai society those who test positive for HIV often face discrimination. This means people engaged in risky behaviours may become unwilling to get tested at hospital.”
“The Centre of Excellence in Research on Gender, Sexuality and Health is developing an online platform to provide HIV testing using technology such as video conferencing, to enable those at risk to take a test at their home,” he said. “Candidates will be instructed to provide a sample of their blood on a piece of sterile paper and mail it to the Clinical Research Centre, Department of Medical Sciences. The centre will perform a rapid HIV test on the sample and send the result to the candidate via their electronic channel of choice.”
Guadamuz added that the pilot project has been well-received by homosexual men, who expressed interest in using the platform to test their blood periodically. “We hope that the project will help reduce the spread of HIV/Aids in Thailand and fulfil the “90-90-90” goal of Joint United Nations Programme [UNAIDS] on HIV/Aids,” he said.
By 2030, UNAIDS wants 90 per cent of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people diagnosed with HIV to receive antiretroviral therapy, and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression.

Published : December 01, 2020

By : THE NATION