Pelangi Maluku Foundation prepares free HIV self-testing kits

Self Care

Pelangi Maluku Foundation (YPM), a non-governmental organization, has prepared free HIV Oral Fluid Test (OFT) self-testing kits for residents of Ambon city, Maluku.

“Starting in April 2022, the Pelangi Maluku Foundation will begin the service of (HIV) self-testing for the community, and they will be accompanied by workers who reach out to them,” YPM director Rosa Pentury explained in Ambon on Tuesday.

Pentury said the OFT examination is an alternative because it can be performed independently by simply swabbing the upper and lower gums to get saliva samples.

Then, the samples need to be dipped in a solvent liquid, she said adding, the results will come out after 10–20 minutes.

“The result will show if it is positive, negative, or invalid, marked by the lines on the test kit,” she informed.

The HIV self-testing approach can attract many people who have never taken an HIV test before, Pentury said.

The effort of offering free HIV self-testing kits is aimed at helping u

ncover hidden cases of HIV-AIDS, she added.

“If people are afraid of syringes, this kit can help because it is very simple and can be done by anyone, anywhere,” she pointed out.

Currently, the stock of HIV self-testing kits in YPM is still limited, but if the demand increases, then YPM will ask the Ministry of Health for more supplies, she said.

Furthermore, the number of people who have used the self-testing kit so far is about 60, with four people showing reactive results, she informed.

“If the test result is reactive, they will be referred for further examination,” she said.

She further said that the more the number of people who do the test the better, especially people who are at risk must take the HIV test earlier.

“At-risk people can take the free HIV self-testing by contacting YPM staff or visiting the foundation’s office for obtaining services,” Pentury added.

Source: Antara News