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The contribution of HIV point-of-care tests in early HIV diagnosis: community-based HIV testing monitoring in Catalonia, 1995 to 2018.

  • Fernàndez-López, Laura1, 2
  • Reyes-Urueña, Juliana1, 2
  • Conway, Anna1, 3
  • Saz, Jorge4
  • Morales, Adriana5
  • Quezadas, Jaime6
  • Baroja, Jordi7
  • Rafel, Anna8
  • Pazos, Ander9
  • Avellaneda, Anna10
  • Meroño, Mercè11
  • Andreo, Lorena12
  • Romero, Lluís13
  • Lara, Anna14
  • Otón, Araceli15
  • Rifà, Benet16, 17
  • Mansilla, Rosa16, 17
  • Colom, Joan17
  • Casabona, Jordi1, 18, 2
  • 1 Centre for Epidemiological Studies on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS of Catalonia (CEEISCAT), Catalan Health Department, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 2 Centros de Investigación Biomédica en Red Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain. , (Spain)
  • 3 The Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Badalona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 4 BCN Checkpoint, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 5 Stop Sida, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 6 Associació Ciutadana Antisida de Catalunya (ACASC), Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 7 Centre Jove d'Atenció a les Sexualitats (CJAS), Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 8 Associació Antisida de Lleida, Lleida, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 9 Gais Positius, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 10 Actuavallès, Sabadell, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 11 Fundació Àmbit Prevenció, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 12 CAS/ARD Lluís Companys, Creu Roja Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 13 Assexora'Tgn (Associacio Comunitària de Salut Sexual del Camp de Tarragona), Tarragona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 14 Associació Comunitària Anti Sida de Girona (ACAS), Girona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 15 Creu Roja Tarragona, Tarragona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 16 Section for Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, Public Health Agency of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 17 Programme for Prevention, Control and Treatment of HIV, STIs and Viral Hepatitis, Public Health Agency of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 18 Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Preventive Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. , (Spain)
Published Article
European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC)
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.43.1900424
PMID: 33124552


BackgroundCommunity-based HIV testing services combined with the use of point-of-care tests (POCT) have the potential to improve early diagnosis through increasing availability, accessibility and uptake of HIV testing.AimTo describe community-based HIV testing activity in Catalonia, Spain, from 1995 to 2018, and to evaluate the impact of HIV POCT on the HIV continuum of care.MethodsA community-based network of voluntary counselling and testing services in Catalonia, Spain has been collecting systematic data on activity, process and results since 1995. A descriptive analysis was performed on pooled data, describing the data in terms of people tested and reactive screening test results.ResultsBetween 1995 and 2018, 125,876 HIV tests were performed (2.1% reactive). Since the introduction of HIV POCT in 2007, a large increase in the number of tests performed was observed, reaching 14,537 tests alone in 2018 (1.3% reactive). Men who have sex with men (MSM), as a proportion of all people tested, has increased greatly over time reaching 74.7% in 2018. The highest percentage of reactive tests was found in people who inject drugs followed by MSM. The contribution of community-based HIV testing to the overall total notified cases in the Catalonia HIV registry has gradually increased, reaching 37.9% in 2018, and 70% of all MSM cases. In 2018, the percentage of individuals with a reactive screening test who were linked to care was 89.0%.ConclusionOur study reinforces the important role that community-based HIV POCT has on the diagnosis of HIV in key populations.

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