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HIV testing strategies outside of health care settings in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA): a systematic review to inform European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidance

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OBJECTIVES: In recent years, new technologies and new approaches to scale up HIV testing have emerged. The objective of this paper was to synthesize the body of recent evidence on strategies aimed at increasing the uptake and coverage of HIV testing outside of health care settings in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA).

METHODS: Systematic searches to identify studies describing effective HIV testing interventions and barriers to testing were run in five databases (2010-2017) with no language restrictions; the grey literature was searched for similar unpublished studies (2014-2017). Study selection, data extraction and critical appraisal were performed by two independent reviewers following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

RESULTS: Eighty studies on HIV testing in non-health care settings were identified, the majority set in Northern Europe. Testing was implemented in 65 studies, with men who have sex with men the risk group most often targeted. Testing coverage and positivity/reactivity rates varied widely by setting and population group. However, testing in community and outreach settings was effective at reaching people who had never previously been tested and acceptability of HIV testing, particularly rapid testing, outside of health care settings was found to be high. Other interventions aimed to increase HIV testing identified were: campaigns (n = 8), communication technologies (n = 2), education (n = 3) and community networking (n = 1).

CONCLUSIONS: This review has identified several strategies with potential to achieve high HIV testing coverage outside of health care settings. However, the geographical spread of studies was limited, and few intervention studies reported before and after data, making it difficult to evaluate the impact of interventions on test coverage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHIV Medicine
Volume21
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)142-162
Number of pages21
ISSN1464-2662
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Europe, HIV, HIV testing, adults, systematic review

ID: 58628491