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Launch of ATLAS – Self-testing project – at the AIDS 2018 Conference

26 July 2018 |  Informations

Fighting HIV / AIDS

On the occasion of the 22nd International Conference on HIV (AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam from July 23rd to 27th), the ATLAS project ” Autotest, Libre d'Accéder à la connaissance de son Statut VIH,” funded by Unitaid and implemented by a French consortium, Solthis and the IRD was launched. It will be conducted in 3 countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal for 3 and a half years (2018-2021).

The official signature took place on the French booth on Wednesday July 25th in the presence of the French Ambassador for Global Health, Stéphanie Seydoux, Unitaid’s Director of Operations, Robert Matiru, IRD researcher Joseph Larmarange and Solthis CEO Louis Pizarro.

West Africa is one of the most affected regions in the world and where only 42% of people living with HIV know their virological status. This is why the ATLAS project is designed as a complementary screening strategy to improve the first 90 of the 90-90-90 strategy.

Self-testing should reach specific populations that are difficult to reach and that, in a sociocultural context still strongly marked by discrimination, cannot be detected: key populations, partners of PLHIV and patients with sexually transmitted infections and their partners.


Funded by UNITAID, the ATLAS project is being implemented by a Solthis-IRD consortium, led by Solthis. Solthis ensures the implementation of the activities (500,000 self-tests will be distributed in three years) in partnership with the Ministries of Health of each of the three countries and the local NGOs. IRD is in charge of the implementation of the evaluation and operational research activities of the project.

After the STAR project led by PSI in Southern Africa, Unitaid supports a second major project aimed at the dissemination of self-tests. The ATLAS and STAR projects will share their scientific knowledge. Unitaid also supports the MTV Stay Alive Shuga TV show, which has already been broadcasted in several African countries to deliver prevention and health promotion messages. For the first time Shuga will be shot in French in Ivory Coast. Solthis and the MTV Foundation will collaborate on the content of the series for key messages and self-screening scenes.

Solthis, after the OPP-ERA project also supported and funded by Unitaid and carried out in consortium with ANRS, Expertise France and Sidaction, to accelerate access to viral load in West and Central Africa, is thrilled to implement ATLAS an innovative and ambitious project .

Read Unitaid’s press release for the launch of the ATLAS project.





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