South Africa, with an estimated 5.7 million infected people, has the largest HIV-positive population in the world. Testing is the entry point to all HIV related care and prevention. However, data from the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation conducted in communities most affected by HIV/AIDS show that testing is often inaccessible or inadequately performed resulting in missed opportunities for prevention, late referrals for care and antiretroviral therapy, and increased morbidity and mortality.
The Tutu Tester is a brightly coloured mobile testing clinic which parks in predetermined community venues and markets preventive testing. The testing package includes blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index and HIV testing.
The Tutu Tester enhances the links to care, allowing for earlier referral for HIV treatment, which will in turn lead to a reduction in morbidity and improved outcomes generally in treating HIV.