Background In 2017 there were 866 thousand PLHIV in Brazil. Among them, 84% knew their status. Innovative strategies are fundamental to increase access to testing in a country with a continental dimension and a concentrated epidemic. The MoH acquired 400 thousand HIVST to reach undiagnosed people. This paper presents the Brazilian strategy for HIVST distribution in the public health system from January 2019.
Methods Throughout 2018 we analyzed guidelines, studies and policies on HIVST worldwide, conducted a two-month international cooperation with France to learn from country’s experience, participated and presented in 2 HIVST international Webex led by WHO and PAHO and, in addition to the results of HIVST projects conducted in Brazil since 2015, held regular stakeholders committee meetings and defined HIVST distribution strategies.
Results The strategy consists of actions that allow access to people that are not reached by health services or that should be tested more frequently, taking the test to the sites of sociability of the key populations and using secondary distribution among peers and sexual partners of people at increased risk. The strategies are: to sexual partnerships or peers of PrEP users; at events and places of sociability of key populations by health teams and NGOs; to sexual partners of prisoners and performance of assisted testing and secondary distribution in health services. The MoH developed strategies for communication, user support, referral to diagnostic confirmation and follow-up of PLHIV, as well as strategies for monitoring the distribution and use of tests through a post-test questionnaire. Brazilian MoH launched a dedicated HIVST website, including a FAQ session, and there will be extensive training in February 2019.
Conclusion The Brazilian strategy aims to scale-up access to HIV testing. Quarterly monitoring of the strategy will be of paramount importance in measuring results, making the necessary adjustments and evaluating the expansion of the strategy.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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