Japan Health Centers Suspending HIV Tests amid Coronavirus Crisis

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)--Many public health centers in Japan are suspending HIV antibody tests, available for free and under anonymity, as they are too busy dealing with the new coronavirus epidemic.

According to the health ministry, the number of HIV tests conducted at facilities including public health centers in Japan in 2020 fell 51.5 pct from the preceding year to 68,998.

As a result, health centers that continue to offer HIV testing despite the COVID-19 crisis are flooded with applications from people hoping to take such tests.

In response to concerns over delays in treatment for HIV carriers and a possible spread of HIV infections, the ministry is advising health centers to come up with alternative measures, such as outsourcing HIV testing.

In Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, eight of its 17 public health centers suspended HIV testing for March.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press