South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the country has introduced self-test kits for HIV test due to the country’s high HIV and AIDS prevalence.
Ramaphosa said that the self-test kits had recently been approved by the South African Pharmacy Council and were available over the counter in retail pharmacies.
“It is critical to highlight that these kits are to be used only for screening, and those who screen positive must go to a health facility to have the confirmatory test done,’’ he said.
The Pharmacy Council is currently finalising a standard operating procedure to ensure that pharmacies provide appropriate information for use of the kits.
“We encourage members of the public to use the services of the Department of Health’s call centre should they have any questions about the use of the kits or interpretation of results,’’ Ramaphosa urged.
He added that the government continued to provide counselling services at all public HIV testing sites.
According to him, President Jacob Zuma is leading a scaled-up counselling and testing campaign aimed at preventing HIV and AIDS.
Zuma has repeatedly called on South Africans to take the HIV test regularly so that they can be able to receive treatment if needed.
Report says with a population of about 53 million, South Africa has an estimated 6.4 million people living with HIV and AIDS, the highest prevalence in the world. Xinhua/NAN

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