A person taking an HIV test.
By Daily Nation
Alarm has been raised over unapproved HIV self-testing kits in the market.
There are fears that a number of people could be accessing unapproved and substandard kits in some private health facilities. This presents the possibility of wrong HIV test results, which could compromise the management of the condition and dent gains made so far.
While the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (Nascop) has only approved four testing kits, those involved in the fight against HIV claim that unapproved self-testing equipment is currently being sold to unknowing citizens, especially through chemists. For example, a number of chemists in Nairobi are selling Erovita testing kits, which do not appear on the Nascop approved list.
As of September, the approved self-testing kits in Kenya were Ora Quick, Insti, Sure Check and Atomo, Mr Peter Mogere, a primary health care advocate and the project coordinator at Partners in Health and Research Development, confirmed the problem exists.
“I have visited a number of chemists in Nairobi and Thika where Erovita is being sold to clients, this could be the situation in several other parts of the county,” said Mr Mogere. He added that HIV/AIDS advocates have unsuccessfully been pushing to have the names of the approved kits published for the last four years.
However, Nascop’s HIV testing services programme manager Dr Jonah Onentiah said they have not received complaints from clients regarding the quality of the kits in the market.
“The matter has come up for the first time. We are yet to confirm if the allegations are true before we can take action,” he said.