Issue Brief: The Role of HIV Self-Testing in Ending the HIV Epidemic
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Issue Brief: The Role of HIV Self-Testing in Ending the HIV Epidemic

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    Ensuring that everyone gets tested for HIV is a critical first step to end the epidemic and is a core strategy of the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States initiative. HIV testing serves as a pathway to prevention and care services for all people. Any HIV test result should lead to engagement in high-quality health care for people who could benefit from HIV prevention or treatment. For people with undiagnosed HIV, testing enables them to rapidly begin HIV treatment to protect their health, prevent further transmission of the virus, and access testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For people who do not have HIV, testing creates an opportunity to be connected to powerful HIV prevention services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and STI services. In 2020, HIV testing decreased noticeably across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to access traditional, in-person testing services. HIV self-testing programs offer an innovative way to bridge gaps in access to HIV testing and ensure that HIV testing is simple and more accessible for all.

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