Le Matin – The ALCS mobilizes to promote screening for HIV, STIs and viral hepatitis

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted HIV prevention and testing services around the world. In order to make up for lost time in the fight for the elimination of AIDS, the ALCS is organizing from November 22 to 28 during the International Screening Week. On the program, information, awareness and screening actions for HIV, viral hepatitis B and C, as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The Association for the Fight against AIDS (ALCS) kicked off the 2nd edition of the International Screening Week in Morocco last Monday. Organized at the initiative of Coalition PLUS, an international network for the fight against HIV and viral hepatitis, this campaign will be held from November 22 to 28 in more than 100 sites in nearly 50 cities in the Kingdom, in partnership with the ministry of Health and Social Protection and UNAIDS. Throughout the week, the association will offer information, awareness and screening actions for HIV, viral hepatitis B and C, as well as sexually transmitted infections.

“The screening tests, carried out as part of International Screening Week, will be done free of charge, without judgment and in complete confidentiality and security. Through this initiative, we are fully contributing to the achievement of national objectives in the fight against HIV, such as the strengthening and diversification of the screening offer, the reduction of new HIV infections and the reduction of mortality linked to HIV. infection with this virus. We are also contributing to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but also to the global response to the epidemic ”, underlined Prof. Mehdi Karkouri, President of the ALCS.

This international screening week, organized in parallel by 49 associations in 40 countries, aims to mobilize all stakeholders around a common desire to achieve national and global objectives and to sustain progress in the community response. “We have launched this campaign to assert the central place of the communities most affected by HIV and viral hepatitis in the response to these epidemics. This is a spotlight on peer testing, which has long shown its relevance in the fight against AIDS, in particular in the context of actions carried out by and for people living with HIV and populations living with HIV. more vulnerable to infection with this virus, ”says Hakima Himmich, founding president of the ALCS and president of Coalition PLUS. In addition, the ALCS calls for recognition of the status of community health workers who are the link between the people supported and all prevention and care programs. According to the association, the recognition of their role is all the more important today since the Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted HIV prevention and testing services around the world. Indeed, according to the Global Fund, the number of HIV tests fell 22% in 2020 compared to the previous year. An unprecedented decline, which raises fears of an upsurge in the epidemic. “In this context, community health workers undeniably have a major role to play in making up for lost time in eliminating HIV,” insists ALCS.

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