European HIV testing week

HIV in Europe with support from Packer Forbes Communications

Summary of work

One in three of the 2.3 million people living with HIV in Europe are unaware of their status. The benefits of early HIV diagnosis have been well-documented, yet as many as 50% are diagnosed late.

The first-ever European HIV testing week took place from 22-29 November 2013 and aimed to increase the proportion of people who are aware of their HIV status and reduce late diagnosis across Europe. A campaign platform was created to tackle the three main barriers to HIV testing across Europe: individuals not taking tests, healthcare professionals not offering tests and national guidelines not being in place that support free, voluntary and confidential HIV tests. 477 organisations from 49 European countries signed up to participate and 19 international organisations pledged endorsement, including UNAIDS. The week saw a wide-range of activities take place from GP training on how to offer HIV tests to African immigrants in Belgium, to meetings with policy makers about introducing HIV guidelines in Turkey.

As a result of the testing week, thousands more people are now aware of their HIV status, with some participating organisations seeing more than a 200% increase in people being tested during the week.

Judges’ comments

This submission should be recognised because of the scale and impact on HIV education across Europe: 49 countries were involved, 477 organisations participated, numerous educational materials were shared, social media were widely used, HIV tests doubled in 44% of organisations for the week, a focused and impressive campaign indeed.