HIV rapid test in a community setting as a strategy to improve access to HIV testing: data from a multicentre experience in Italy

Walter Mazzucco, Silvia Negri, Sergio Lo Caputo, Francesco Di Gennaro, Davide Fiore Bavaro, Mariacristina Poliseno, Carmine Falanga, Annalisa Saracino, Laura Monno, Claudia Marotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

4,000 new HIV diagnoses and approximately 800 AIDS cases are still reported annually in Italy. Improving public awareness and bringing out HIV-undiagnosed individuals are keystones to progress towards the control of the HIV epidemic. For this purpose, the Open HIV TEST project was organized and delivered by the Italian NGO Anlaids, together with local infectious diseases specialists, in order to provide free access to HIV testing outside the healthcare setting. Between October 2017 and February 2019 six Open HIV TEST initiatives were delivered in six Italian cities (3 northern cities, 1 central and 2 southern cities). In all, 581 people were tested: the overall prevalence of HIV test reactivity was 0.7%. Participants were also asked about previous screenings and about their satisfaction with the initiative: previous HIV screening due to pregnancy or surgical procedures was reported mainly by participants in northern centres (p<0.001); finally, the initiative was considered useful and noteworthy by 99% of participants. Prevalence of HIV test reactivity in our experience was in line with national data. Our experience suggests that active testing and counselling strategies in community settings should be recommended and institutionalized by local health authorities in line with the 90-90-90 global strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalLE INFEZIONI IN MEDICINA
Volume27
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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