- The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued evidence-based guidance for screening for HIV, HBV, and HCV infections, using an integrated approach.
Why this matters
- The ECDC is acting to support the global goal of eliminating these viruses by 2030.
- Though early treatment is critical, 1 in 2 HIV cases is not identified until later stages, and about 9 million Europeans are unaware of their chronic HBV or HCV infection.
- Infection with 1 virus can increase risk for another, supporting the need to test for all 3 simultaneously.
- Each nation needs an integrated testing strategy that includes 6 key principles:
- Testing is accessible, voluntary, confidential, and contingent on informed consent.
- Appropriate information offered before and after testing.
- Testing is linked to care.
- Testing is normalized in health care setting.
- Appropriate training offered for test providers.
- National monitoring and evaluation framework is established.
- Target populations include men who have sex with men; sex workers; people who inject drugs, receive blood products, are pregnant, are in prison, or have sexual or injecting partners with infection.
- Testing should be provided in primary care, at clinics, pharmacies, and prisons, in the community, and as self-testing.