Project Accelerate, backed by Johns Hopkins University, launches Safezindagi website
The platform will serve as a guide to prevent STDs and HIV and offer services to help people living with HIV lead healthy lives.
Today, on World AIDS Day, the ACCELERATE project, a USAID / PEPFAR funded program implemented by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in partnership with YRGCARE, The Fenway Institute and Blue Lotus Advisory under the technical leadership of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), has launched safezindagi.in, an online platform that offers information and services for HIV testing, prevention, treatment and maintenance in care through public and private sector organizations in India in collaboration with various community organizations.
Safezindagi.in aims to be a comprehensive online demand generation and service delivery platform for risk assessment, innovative prevention and testing services (like PrEP and HIV self-test) linked to treatment, including teleconsultation with healthcare and counseling professionals to ensure adherence. and maintenance of care. Safe Zindagi has a team of trained counselors, ready to virtually support users with testing services, answer their questions, offer advice, and establish links with doctors and health centers. Safe Zindagi is currently active in 49 cities in 20 states in India.
Speaking during the Safezindagi deployment, Dr. Sunil Suhas Solomon, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: âWe are at a critical juncture in the AIDS epidemic in India, where the New infection rate has leveled off since the outbreak’s peak. in 2000. We must continue to increase screening because it slows down the spread of AIDS. Safezindagi is our effort to increase access to information and to a range of services for the prevention and control of AIDS.
Dr Jalpa Thakker, Director – Programs, Accelerate, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: âIndia has done a fabulous job of reaching the right people with HIV services over the past decades and, through As a result, 76 percent of PLHIV are aware of their status due to rigorous testing strategies (Sankalak 2020). We have many traditional methods of testing for HIV. You can go to an establishment called an Integrated Counseling and Screening Center to be tested, counseled and put in touch for further follow-up. However, due to systemic barriers, the uptake of traditional testing is affected by the distance one has to travel to get to the facility, the money one has to spend and lose due to time spent on clinics. testing and, more importantly, the fear of losing confidentiality and the stigma of going to designated HIV testing centers. Self-testing for HIV is accurate, simple and fast. It preserves privacy, confidentiality and can be done from any convenient location, at any time, with or without tance assistance. The Safezindagi.in platform will serve as a repository of knowledge and links for STDs and promote HIV self-testing for early diagnosis and initiation of treatment. It will promote combination prevention methods such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and enable healthy living practices in people living with HIV. “
Users can order HIV self-test kits from Safezindagi.in and have them delivered by courier to a convenient location or even collect the kits from listed pickup points nearby. They can choose to test themselves or under expert supervision. Safe Zindagi is a virtual one-stop-shop that aims to meet people “where they are” to enable them to access the services and facilities they need, while providing them with freedom of choice and comfort.