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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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HIV testing strategies employed in health care settings in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA): evidence from a systematic review

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OBJECTIVES: Despite the availability of HIV testing guidelines to facilitate prompt diagnosis, late HIV diagnosis remains high across Europe. The study synthesizes recent evidence on HIV testing strategies adopted in health care settings in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA).

METHODS: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed and systematic searches were run in five databases (2010-2017) to identify studies describing HIV testing interventions in health care settings in the EU/EEA. The grey literature was searched for unpublished studies (2014-2017). Two reviewers independently performed study selection, data extraction and critical appraisal.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirty intervention and/or feasibility studies on HIV testing in health care settings were identified. Interventions included testing provision (n = 94), campaigns (n = 14) and education and training for staff and patients (n = 20). HIV test coverage achieved through testing provision varied: 2.9-94% in primary care compared to 3.9-66% in emergency departments. HIV test positivity was lower in emergency departments (0-1.3%) and antenatal services (0-0.05%) than in other hospital departments (e.g. inpatients: 0-5.3%). Indicator condition testing programmes increased HIV test coverage from 3.9-72% before to 12-85% after their implementation, with most studies reporting a 10-20% increase. There were 51 feasibility and/or acceptability studies that demonstrated that HIV testing interventions were generally acceptable to patients and providers in health care settings (e.g. general practitioner testing acceptable: 77-93%).

CONCLUSIONS: This review has identified several strategies that could be adopted to achieve high HIV testing coverage across a variety of health care settings and populations in the EU/EEA. Very few studies compared the intervention under investigation to a baseline, but, where this was assessed, data suggested increases in testing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHIV Medicine
Volume21
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
ISSN1464-2662
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • adults, Europe, health care, HIV diagnosis and adults, HIV testing

ID: 58628378