15 Jul 2008

SPC recommends new HIV testing

1:38 pm on 15 July 2008

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has released new recommendations to extend HIV testing in island countries.

The director of the SPC's HIV and STI section Dr Dennie Iniakwaia says a testing taskforce made up of technical experts has been set up to ensure countries get support to implement these recommendations over the next 12 months.

Dr Iniakwala says regional organisations focussing on HIV have agreed to collaborate and expand testing facilities to include other services, including antenatal and STI clinics and various counselling services.

"These recommendations basically I think for the first instance to providing testing services to the laboratory themselves needs to be strengthened further in terms of having tests at the first point of care, being not only in the laboratory - but actually at the point of care where people can actually access HIV testing."

The SPC's Dr Dennie Iniakwaia