HIV testing in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region is available mostly through public health facilities and nongovernmental organizations. Encouragingly, community-based testing programmes are operating in an increasing number in some countries. Pakistan, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco and Sudan have been working on increasing testing services through running community testing services for key populations and in locations where HIV risk is high. In Morocco, a diversity of approaches has resulted in 63% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their HIV status. In Sudan, focusing HIV testing in health care settings has contributed to increasing the efficiency of testing. However, at the regional level, HIV testing coverage remains far below the global average. In 2016, only 30% of the estimated 360 000 people living with HIV in the Region were aware of their infection.
In order to support country effort in scaling up HIV testing, World AIDS Day 2017 will focus on advocating for HIV testing. The messages target the general public to seek HIV testing with a view to increasing demand.
Additionally, the advocacy material promotes the different approaches to HIV testing that are recommended by WHO.