HIV testing carried out by health departments, community agencies and other CDC-funded organizations plummeted by 50-70% in the early part of 2020 as compared to the prior two years, according to preliminary data. COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are of course the cause. That insight can be found in the June 9, 2020 National HIV Testing Day 2020 Partner Webinar slides, which provides a robust summary of efforts to expand HIV testing, including at-home self-testing.
Tools and Guidance for Expanding HIV Testing
Implicit in the awareness-raising goal of National HIV Testing Day (the 2020 theme is "Knowing") is follow-up action on the part of individuals and agencies to expand HIV testing. The work is essential to Ending the HIV Epidemic as 38% of new HIV infections are from persons who do not know they have HIV. An even larger proportion of new infections, 43%, are from persons who know but are not in HIV care.
Below are some resources to help agencies expand their HIV testing work:
- The above-referenced National HIV Testing Day 2020 Partner Webinar slides, which provide ample context on the national strategy, various testing options, guidance on self-testing, PrEP, and more.
- Our At Home HIV Testing: Guidance and Tips news feed, summarizing such new options like the allowance for HRSA Health Centers to purchase and provide the FDA-approved HIV home test to their patients and an FAQ on self-testing for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program agencies.
- Read HIV.gov on SAMHSA Authorizes Some CSAT Grantees to Use Funds for Self-Test Kits Amid Pandemic Response.
- Clinician resources on HIV testing in our Ryan White and HIV Testing Day blog.