New 'Identity' Policy in Beijing Leads to Drop in People Taking HIV Tests

by Kathy Jones on  September 2, 2011 at 8:48 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
It has emerged that the number of Chinese people taking the HIV test has declined after the anonymity policy ended in Beijing, rendering detection and service delivery increasingly difficult.
 New 'Identity' Policy in Beijing Leads to Drop in People Taking HIV Tests
New 'Identity' Policy in Beijing Leads to Drop in People Taking HIV Tests

The new system, which requires people to reveal their identity when they take HIV test,as aimed at improved improving services for people who were tested positive.

It was introduced at Beijing's government-run clinics about a month ago.

However, the number of people taking HIV tests has dropped significantly because people do not to reveal their identities lest they be tested positive, a civic organization leader,Xiao Dong said.

"This could undermine long-term efforts to improve intervention and will increase the chances of undetected sufferers spreading the virus," the China Daily quoted him, as saying.

Before the new policy was unveiled government-run clinics in Beijing received, on average, about a dozen people a day. Now, the number as dropped to about three people on an average.

National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control and Prevention Director Wu Zunyou said that the new initiative would not help with detection and service delivery.

A UNAIDS program associate Guy Taylor said his organization believes HIV testing should always be confidential, accompanied by counseling and conducted only with informed consent.

"Where testing requires real-name registration, it is possible that fears around perceived risks of breaches of confidentiality may lead to reduced demand for testing services," he said.

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention began to provide free screening services for HIV in 2003.

Source: ANI

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