Media Advisory: UNAIDS and ASLM to Formalise Partnership to Improve Laboratories and Access to HIV Testing

Zenawit T. Melesse (UNAIDS Johannesburg) +27 89 909 2637, Email
Corey White (ASLM) +251 11 557 1021, Email

Click here to read the latest HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet from UNAIDS.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, (8 December 2013) – Over seven million HIV patients in Africa so far have received antiretroviral therapy (ART). Although a significant achievement, this is less than 50% of all the people living with HIV who are eligible for treatment on the continent according to criteria set by the new 2013 Consolidated ART Guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO). Health systems face a dual challenge – first, to continue to expand access to ART for the millions of people living with HIV still in need of treatment and second, to sustain effective treatment for patients already on ART.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) will formalise their partnership on 8 December 2013 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to collaboratively to improve access to HIV testing and health outcomes throughout Africa.

WHAT: Memorandum of Understanding Signing, Press Conference
WHEN: Sunday, 08 December 2013, 09:30hrs – 10:00hrs
WHERE: Press Conference Room, Cape Town International Convention Centre


  • Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS
  • Professor Sheila Tlou, Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa
  • Dr. Tsehaynesh Messele, Chief Executive Officer, African Society for Laboratory Medicine
  • Dr. Trevor Peter, Chair, Board of Directors, African Society for Laboratory Medicine
  • Dr. Catherine Bilger, Senior Advisor, Special Initiatives, UNAIDS (Moderator)


The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is a pan-African professional body, endorsed by the African Union that advocates for the critical role and needs of laboratory medicine. ASLM aims to achieve the four goals of its 2020 strategic vision: building a sustainable laboratory workforce; accrediting laboratories to improve performance and quality; improving the regulation of medical diagnostic products; and building laboratory networks to improve early disease detection and collaborative research.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDSrelated deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.