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Commentary & Opinion
More People Must Know HIV Status to Further Progress Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Tobias Says

July 1, 2005

The number of people who know their HIV status must "dramatically increas[e]" for the global fight against HIV/AIDS to "further progress," U.S. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. In order to reach the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's five-year goal of supporting antiretroviral treatment for two million HIV-positive people in 15 hard-hit countries, the government estimates that 100 million more people must undergo HIV testing, Tobias says, adding that only people who know they are HIV-positive seek treatment and are able to "take steps for prevention." Integrating voluntary testing and counseling into routine health care, counseling and testing couples, offering testing to the families of HIV-positive people, and implementing mobile-unit and door-to-door testing are some of the ways the United States and host nations are working together to achieve PEPFAR's goal, Tobias says. "The challenge is daunting," but PEPFAR and its partners are "facing it with ingenuity and passion" and are "working urgently to make counseling and testing widely available," he says (Tobias, Miami Herald, 7/1).

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