BioSure's Role in Delivering 'The First 90'
The global community has come a long way in the fight against AIDS. In the last decade AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 45% and new HIV infection rates by over 10%. On top of this, there are almost 22 million people receiving anti retroviral treatment (ART). These are impressive sounding statistics, but do they point to the near-defeat of AIDS?
Despite such exciting figures, they do not actually reveal a potentially dangerous trend. We could, in fact, be heading towards an outcome whereby the epidemic outruns the response. Time is of the essence. Rather than approaching a world with “zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination” many experts fear that we are, at present, on an erroneous trajectory.
What are the 90, 90, 90 Goals?
To combat this possibility UNAIDS established an ambitious, revolutionary target in order to beat AIDS by 2030: the “90, 90, 90 Goals”
- 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
- 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
- 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression
Fundamental to the delivery of these goals is diagnosing HIV-infections as early as possible. When we achieving this, treatment can be used as prevention (TASP) and onward transmission will cease. By 2030 HIV will cease to exist as a global health threat.
How HIV Tests Help
The ‘First 90’ is the trigger to kicking off the cascade: #KnowYourStatus. We have made significant process and an estimated 60% of all people living globally with HIV know they have the virus, but the clock is ticking. We must be innovative come up with new tools, new ways, new models of testing. The key is to provide more choice, that is cost effective to delivers that can reach “key populations".
Connecting with Key Populations
“Key populations” are changing. These are the groups most prone to infection but least likely to seek test and treat programmes and also tend to be individuals in the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach parts of the world including low and middle-income countries, those at war and those where education and healthcare-provision are minimal.
Reducing Barriers for HIV Testing
Social barriers exist that prevent people engaging with HIV testing and treatment programmes. HIV self-tests unlock that. This new technology empowers individuals to test themselves for HIV and get their own result wherever and whenever is most suitable for them, in privacy and without a healthcare professional. We are proving tha self-testing can enable people previously disenfranchised to take responsibility.
Today there is absolutely no reason why anyone should die of AIDS. Test and Treat programmes are now implemented globally, providing fully funded, simple treatment as soon as someone is diagnosed. These anti-retrovirals are so effective that the virus can be suppressed to undetectable levels, which prevents long term health damage and most incredibly, is now proven to stop onward transmission. Undetectable really does mean untransmittable, but if you don’t test, you can’t treat.
Accelerating the scale up of acceptable and implementable self-testing programmes has the potential to reach all of the undiagnosed fundamental to achieving the first 90.
Sustainable development is only achievable if adult populations can be kept large enough and healthy enough to generate their own income and wealth and, therefore, the ability to fund their own local healthcare systems. HIV/AIDS is a major risk to sustainable global development.
The BioSURE HIV Self Test gives people the choice to know their own HIV status on their own terms. It is discreet, convenient, incredibly simple and provides an easy to read result in minutes. Since the launch of our world-first product, we have had the privilege and the opportunity to develop a market from scratch and gain unique understanding and insight to the role self-testing has to play on both a macro and micro level. We understand government and donor funding issues and the grassroots pysche in choosing to self-test. This is how we know BioSure has a role to play in delivering the first 90 and helping to create an AIDS-free generation.