Press release from Business Wire India
Source: Business Wire
Thursday, February 12, 2009 10:18 AM IST (04:48 AM GMT)
Editors: General: Consumer interest, Economy, Social issues; Business: Advertising, PR & marketing, Healthcare, biotechnology & pharmaceutical; Healthcare
Release no: 19214
(BW)(AHF/AIDS-TESTING)AHF’s World AIDS Day Testing Campaign Tests 1.5M People; Finds 61,000 HIV+
Ambitious World AIDS Day Campaign Led by AIDS Healthcare Foundation Far Surpasses Goal of One Million Tests; Shatters Myths about Streamlined Testing & Counseling Models
Los Angeles, United States, Thursday, February 12, 2009 — (Business Wire India) —
A groundbreaking global effort led by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to test one million people for HIV as part of a global testing campaign tied to the recent observance of World AIDS Day (December 1st) has far surpassed its goal by testing more than 1.5 million people and identifying more than 61,000 HIV-positive individuals in more than 25 countries around the world. The ambitious month-long campaign spearheaded by AHF, the largest AIDS group in the US, also shattered myths and prejudices concerning the use of streamlined HIV testing and counseling models as well as the mass mobilization of targeted groups and populations who would benefit from such free HIV testing and counseling. The 61,000 positives identified out of the more than 1.5 million people tested resulted in an overall 3.9% sero-positivity rate.
“Our ‘One Million Tests’ campaign exceeded its goal by more than half a million tests, a truly remarkable accomplishment. In the process, over 61,000 HIV-positive individuals were identified and referred to treatment,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, “I am gratified by the success of our campaign, which demonstrates what can be achieved by using new HIV testing models as well as mass mobilization efforts. With so many millions of lives at stake, we need to educate and encourage people to test. As public health leaders, we need to be bold and open-minded to save lives.”
“Sincere thanks to all the NGOs, government agencies, partners and individuals around the world who joined us to help make the ‘One Million Tests’ World AIDS Day campaign a resounding success,” said Terri Ford, Director of Global Advocacy for AHF and Coordinator of the ‘One Million Tests’ campaign. “By working together in many innovative public/private partnerships, this campaign helped shatter the notion that stigma is an insurmountable barrier. The lines and queues of people waiting for testing were a testament to both the need and the desire of many to stay well and healthy for their families. We know that testing is the gateway to treatment and to keeping parents alive and well enough to raise their children.”
In India, Mexico and Uganda, AHF and select partners utilized a groundbreaking new testing tool, a one minute, finger stick blood serum test known as the INSTI test made by Canada’s bioLytical Labs. This testing technology drastically reduces wait time for results while significantly increasing the volume of clients accessing testing services.
AHF kicked off the ‘One Million Tests’ campaign during the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City last August, recruiting many global partners from among the 20,000 participants at the conference. The testing itself started in Cambodia in mid-November in conjunction with that country’s national holiday, the Water Festival.
“I attended the conference in Mexico and signed in for Mumbai, but sharing the news about this campaign, all locations in India expressed their interest and so it started,” said Diane Mailto, Population Services International-India (PSI-India).
“.RTI International (RCT/BC project) Kasese successfully performed 3,595 HIV tests during the One Million Tests campaign. We exceeded our projected target of 2,200. Uganda Cares/AHF provided us with HIV test kits & testing supplies, T-shirts, and funds for mass mobilization & allowances for health workers. Their timely logistical and financial support was key to our success.” Dr. David Tumuhairwe, RTI International.
“Not only does antiretroviral treatment save the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, it also helps prevent further transmission of the virus. Our partners in this campaign helped forge a dynamic and diverse new testing coalition with a united voice. The ‘One Million Tests’ campaign serves as a catalyst for a worldwide commitment to free and easy HIV testing and improved access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment worldwide. We are proud to have far exceed the one million tests goal; however, this is just the beginning,” added AHF’s Ford.
Following are statistics from the campaign:
2008 ‘ONE MILLION TESTS’ CAMPAIGN TOTALS
*As of: 2/5/2009
There are currently 33 million people worldwide thought to be living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, only about three million people in the developing world have access to lifesaving antiretroviral AIDS medications. The vast majority the remaining 30 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide have never been tested for the virus.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE : http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5894539
United States Contacts:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Director of Global Advocacy & the One Million Tests Campaign
Associate Director of Communications
CONSUMER, ECONOMY, SOCIAL, MARKETING, HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE
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