Get to know your HIV status: UN staff will go through HIV testing on the World AIDS Day

United Nations Organization staff in Russia are planning to undergo HIV testing on December 1, the World AIDS Day.


Testing will be confidential and anonymous. Pre- and post-testing counseling will be provided by consultants of the All Russian Union of People Living with HIV (AU PLHIV). Heads of UN agencies called their staff to support this initiative.


Denis Brun, Regional Director of UNAIDS office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia makes the following points:

- Getting tested is the step to getting access to treatment if needed. Early treatment has much better outcomes. In Europe, still 30% of those who start treatment start too late, when they are already sick with AIDS. This could be avoided if they came for testing earlier. Those who are at risk (MSM, IDU, CSW, wives/husbands and partners of these) should be the ones asking for test. At present too many tests are performed on people with low risk and not enough on high-risk populations. People who test positive know that they are actors of prevention. They do not transmit to others.


OraQuick ADVANCE saliva test which UN staff will undergo is a painless, quick and certified in Russia method. Barak Obama, Anna Kurnikova, Miss Universe Diane Mendoza and thousands of other Americans went through this test. It is the only recommended in USA HIV-1,2 saliva express test and is widely used on the National testing day when everybody who is willing can anonymously and free of charge go through HIV testing and receive counselling. The procedure is very simple, the result is ready in 20 minutes.


Those who know their HIV status and have a responsible attitude to health, protect their partners from HIV transmission.


- About 40% of people living with HIV in the world do not know their status, continues commenting Denis Brun. This is one of the reasons why HIV epidemic is still spreading. Russia has achieved great progress in prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child namely because a system of testing pregnant women is in place and necessary measures are taken in a timely manner.


For the first time UN staff in Russia organized HIV testing in the workplace. This is a wonderful opportunity to undergo testing and receive professional counseling. This time testing will be done only for UN staff, however, request have already been made to organize testing for family members which testifies to an interest to this initiative and to a right attitude to one’s own and ones’ close ones health.