UNAIDS had its first support for the orientation on community-based HIV testing where speakers from China and Cambodia came over to talk about their experiences on community-based testing, they showed data on increased HIV test uptake after the implementation of community-based testing.
In 2015, UNAIDS supported the writing of the operating guidelines and the different manuals around community-based testing which included the training manual so we can eventually roll out the said program in the Philippines.
In 2016, around July, with support from Save the Children and Global fund, we started training community members from the national capital region, Cebu and Davao so we can pilot run the Project and see the acceptability and feasibility of the program in the Philippines.
There had been so much issues around the project, things like laymen cannot do screening at the community level and issues around the quality of counseling at the community once screening’s done.
But what do we really want?
Our local government units have had clinics offering free HIV testing over the past few years and community-based HIV screening is there to complement their efforts by reaching people who refuse to go to the clinic for testing.
We want to reach more people, we want to test more people and as we test people, we want to link more people to care
In the 2016 International AIDS Society conference in Durban in South Africa, community-based screening (CBS) was one of the many programs presented and it has shown tremendous impact in various countries alongside other projects like pre-exposure prophylaxis and self testing
The 2017 NCR 5-month data so far has shown that out of all screened at the community level 17% remains to be the reactivity or positivity rate of the project, this is way above the less than 5% National reactivity rate of the government. We are in fact reaching the right target.
So yes, we can do screening at the community level and yes, we are able to reach people who haven’t been tested ever in their entire lives.
And ultimately, we are able to link people to proper treatment proper care and proper support.
This is not about people doing the screening this is about reaching people at the community level so we can have them screen for HIV this is about the clients
So ladies and gentlemen, that is what CBS or community-based HIV screening is all about so if ever you have friends or colleagues that would want to meet for a one-on-one HIV screening, you can contact us at 0 917-861-4084 and 0 927-806-7339.
Kudos to our friends and partners:
- The Love Project
- HIV Awareness Campaign Group
- Sustained Health Initiatives of the Philippines
- Action for Health Initiatives of the Philippines
- Davao City Reproductive Health Wellness Center
- Cebu City Health office and social hygiene clinic
- Cebu Plus
- TLF SHARE
- The Project Red Ribbon
- All the community-based organizations who have gone out of their way to reach people for this project without a single centavo in exchange (sorry I am not able to list down all orgs)
CBS IN 10-15MINS!
For more information please email us at hashCommunityoperations@gmail.com