A HIV test kit displays a negative result. Kenyans can now get a full range of tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) through the Internet or mobile phones without sharing their personal information. PHOTO | FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP
By NATION REPORTER
Kenyans can now get a full range of tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) through the Internet or mobile phones without sharing their personal information.
A person can use a fake name or number to have samples collected in health centres across the country for testing. You will get your results in a few hours or days, depending on the nature of the test.
Results can be sent to an individual through a secure web portal or phone without revealing their identities.
Pathologists Lancet Kenya, a specialised laboratory, launched the ‘Better2Know’ testing initiative, on Friday.
Tests offered include HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis, chlamydia and pap smear for cervical cancer.
The Kenya National AIDS & STI Control Programme shows that most Kenyans, especially the youth, prefer confidentiality and would not want to run into family or neighbours in health centres.
LACK OF PRIVACY
Lancet Group CEO Ahmed Kalebi said the new approach puts confidentiality at its core. “Demand for STI services is high but lack of privacy has kept many away. We want to change this,” Dr Kalebi said.
The client is identified through an anonymous code or a false name during testing and treatment. Alternatively, kits for collecting samples can be send to clients in sealed packages through courier services. Those whose results turn out positive will be linked up with doctors for treatment privately.
“The tests have no age restriction but underage clients will be required to sign consent forms,” said Dr Kalebi.
Also, doctors will email prescriptions for drugs without having to meet the patient.
At least 1.6 million Kenyans are living with HIV, according to the 2013 Kenya HIV Prevention Revolution Road Map report sponsored by the Health ministry.