Second European HIV testing week kicks off today
From 21 to 28 November 2014, nearly 700 organisations across Europe will host activities to increase awareness of the personal and public health benefits of HIV testing. As HIV infection can remain asymptomatic for a long time and a substantial number of infected persons across Europe are unaware of their infection, ECDC supports the aims of this second European HIV testing week.
“Our data show that every second HIV positive person in Europe is diagnosed late in the course of their infection which also means that until they have been diagnosed they can unknowingly transmit the virus”, highlights ECDC Director Marc Sprenger. “There is no cure for HIV but early diagnosis allows access to lifesaving treatment and also reduces the long term cost to the healthcare system”, Sprenger adds.
"Talk HIV. Test HIV"
The theme for European HIV testing week 2014 is ‘Talk HIV. Test HIV.’ aiming to increase positive dialogue among those who ought to be tested for HIV and those who offer tests across Europe. Bringing HIV testing closer to those at risk of HIV infection – while avoiding stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS – is still a public health challenge in the EU/EEA.
To that effect, the ECDC HIV testing guidance helps countries in their efforts to identify HIV infections early: it provides key information on why, where, how and when to test for HIV. It aims to inform existing national HIV testing strategies in Member States to adopt a strategic, evidence-based approach to develop and implement effective HIV testing procedures. Recommendations and key messages of the HIV testing week are in line with the ECDC guidance.
The European HIV testing week, organised by the HIV in Europe initiative, combines a wide range of activities taking place across Europe during the week until 28 November: a key focus this year is to encourage more healthcare professionals, who do not work in a sexual health setting, to routinely offer HIV tests where indicated. Last year, 477 participating partners from 47 of the 53 countries of the WHO European region signed up and reported a variety of testing week activities including outreach by testing in locations where hard-to-reach population groups were known to frequent or using mobile units to access known homeless areas.
- HIV testing: increasing uptake and effectiveness in the European Union
- HIV testing: increasing uptake and effectiveness in the European Union (in brief)
- Evidence synthesis for Guidance on HIV testing
- HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe 2011
On social media
Half of all women with HIV are diagnosed late in Europe
28 Nov 2019 - Many women in the WHO European Region, particularly those in their 40s, are diagnosed at a late stage of HIV infection when their immune system is already starting to fail. They are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed late than younger women. According to data for 2018 released today by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, women accounted for one-third of the 141 000 new HIV diagnoses in the Region, indicating that this population needs more attention in Europe's prevention and testing efforts.
Know your status: get tested during European Testing Week
22 Nov 2019 - On the way towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for health, Europe has one important battle to take on: reducing the proportion of those living with undiagnosed HIV and viral hepatitis. Current status in the EU/EEA: one in seven people living with HIV are unaware of their infection, up to four out of 5 people living with hepatitis B and three out of four people with hepatitis C infection have not yet been diagnosed.
Around half a million men who have sex with men in the EU need PrEP but cannot access it
11 Oct 2019 - This estimate on the “PrEP gap” in Europe was published in a paper in Eurosurveillance stating that 500 000 men who have sex with men in the European Union currently cannot access HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), despite being very likely to use it.