Aids home testing discouraged

2010-01-21 09:52

The SA Medical Association (Sama) warned today that HIV/Aids

home testing posed several risks and discouraged people from using it.

“Let us not create a situation where we wait for disaster to happen

by encouraging potentially risky practices where people discover their HIV

status at home unmonitored,” Sama chairperson Norman Mabasa said in a


He urged people to go for HIV/Aids tests for free at hospitals and

clinics where post-test counselling was done.

But he said many people feared being recognised by a cousin or

colleague and rather opted for home testing.

“The tests have important implications for the individual,

especially in respect of HIV counselling procedures.

“There is also the danger of people committing suicide after being

informed of their HIV positive status, or even following misinterpretation of

the results of the home test kit,” said Mabasa.

“Sama therefore would discourage home testing, especially in the

absence of pre-and post-test counselling, even where the technical quality of

the test-kits is acceptable.”

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