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Wednesday 22 February 2006
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TANZANIA: Free tests draw in more people - study


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


NAIROBI, 13 February (PLUSNEWS) - Offering free HIV tests draws three times more people for testing than charging a small fee for the service, according to a study conducted in northern Tanzania by Duke University Medical Center.

Researchers from the university in Durham, North Carolina, in the US, provided free HIV tests and counselling during a two-week pilot programme in the region in 2003. The results were published in the American Journal of Public Health in January.

"The number of people seeking tests increased from 4.1 per day before the free testing interval to 15.0 per day during the pilot programme," the centre noted.

An associate professor of infectious diseases at Duke, Nathan Thielman, said research had shown that HIV testing and counselling reduced high-risk sexual behaviour and prevented HIV transmission.

The study also found that free testing significantly reduced the cost of averting HIV infections. According to Thielman, "For every $92 invested in free HIV testing and counseling ... an HIV infection can be averted.

[ENDS]

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Recent TANZANIA Reports
HIV/AIDS counselling centres set up in prisons,  21/Feb/06
Condom taboo in Zanzibar hampers fight against HIV/AIDS,  1/Feb/06
Sex and condom education essential - govt,  18/Jan/06
Roman Catholic bishops oppose teaching of condom use,  10/Jan/06
Clinical trials on HIV/AIDS vaccine to start in March 2006,  5/Dec/05
Links
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· AEGIS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance


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