because Everyone deserves to know their status
By providing HIV tests free of charge and educating non-medical providers to perform testing and counseling, we ensure information about HIV status is accessible to all. Scientific research has shown an association between knowledge of HIV status and self-initiated prevention activities.
Between 30 to 50 men and women walk into the GAIA clinic each month and ask for "dépistage volontaire," free testing. Of these people, only 17% are HIV+, and they are offered free ARV treatment. Even though this percentage of the population is small, they are taking the first steps towards reducing stigma and raising awareness about the risks for all Malians.
Our seroprevalence data shows that the men and women we are testing are among a much higher-risk group than the general population where seroprevalence hovers around 1.4%. Due to the success of our free testing program, patients sometimes come to Sikoro from other clinics where testing is not available.