"That is why World Health Organization, partners and Member States in the sub-region are working together to accelerate the expansion of HIV testing programmes in order to reach people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensure that they are linked to quality and prevention services".
She advised Lagosians and Nigerians to periodically check their status and stop discriminating HIV positive persons.
Dr. Christoph Hamelmann, the WHO Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran, during a surprise visit to a Drop-in Center in Kerman on November 28 took a HIV test to highlight this year's theme of World AIDS Day 2018 as "Know Your Status".
Based on the latest data by UNAIDS 36.9 million people globally were living with HIV in 2017.
PAHO says the majority of new infections in the Region occur in gay men and other men who have sex with men, which represent 41 percent of new cases in Latin America and 23 percent in the Caribbean.
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She noted that many young people and adult men were being left behind and others still only get tested after becoming ill. Sex workers and their clients, transgender women and people who inject themselves with drugs are also disproportionately affected by HIV.
- Every week, nearly 7,000 young women aged between 15 and 24 are infected with HIV.
"We must look at HIV prevention and testing in the context of a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and information".
PAHO/WHO also recommends that the age at which young people can take an HIV test without the consent of a parent or guardian be reduced in line with the recommendations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This year is the 30-year anniversary of World AIDS Day, first initiated by WHO in 1988.
Moeti said that as part of the new 5-year strategy for WHO, the organisation was working with Member States in the African region to strengthen their health systems and help them make progress towards universal health coverage.