UN agencies issue new guidelines to boost HIV testing and counselling

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint UN Programme Against HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have called for increased care and prevention services related to HIV.

The prevailing model now is voluntary testing and counselling, where individuals actively seek diagnosis. But experts say this system is impeded by the fear of stigma and discrimination, limited accessibility to services and the perception of many – even in areas with high rates of HIV infection – that they are not at risk.

Approximately 80 per cent of people living with HIV in low-income countries are unaware that they’re infected with the disease.