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More work needs to be done to ensure men get tested for HIV, US global AIDS co-ordinator Deborah Birx said on Thursday, ahead of a planned trip to SA. Birx heads up the US President’s Emergency Programme for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), which is the biggest international donor to SA’s HIV/AIDS initiatives. It has provided more than $6.25m to SA since 2004, and is expected to announce a significant new funding allocation to SA on December 2. Globally, half of all HIV positive men aged between 15 years and 35 years did not know they were infected and were missing the opportunity to start early treatment, she said. “We need the people who perceive themselves to not be at risk for HIV to be tested for HIV today so we can get them treated before they develop the devastating ravages of a failed immune system,” she said. Pepfar is one of the founding partners of the MenStar coalition, which is trying to find innovative ways to diagnose and treat more men in a number of countries, including SA. SA...

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