Now in its 6th year since the launch in 2013 and the 4th year since hepatitis testing has been included, European Testing Week will take place on 23–30 November 2018.
European Testing Week is a European-wide campaign that encourages public and partner organizations, including communities, and public health care institutes throughout the WHO European Region to unite for 1 week to scale up voluntary testing. The campaign promotes awareness of the benefits of earlier diagnosis of HIV and viral hepatitis infections and linkage to treatment and care, while respecting the principle of confidentiality.
The primary goal of European Testing Week is to make more people aware of their HIV and/or hepatitis status and reduce late diagnosis. These goals are achieved by communicating the benefits of testing and supporting ongoing dialogue between all partners in the HIV and hepatitis communities to:
- encourage people who could be at risk of HIV or hepatitis to get tested;
- encourage health-care professionals to offer voluntary HIV or hepatitis testing and counselling as part of routine care in specific settings and in the presence of certain conditions (in line with WHO guidelines);
- support and unite organizations to scale up HIV and hepatitis testing and share lessons learned between the countries;
- make governmental bodies aware of the individual, societal and economic benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing initiatives and how to increase the efficacy and efficiency of testing practices by bringing them closer to people who need it most;
- help end the HIV and hepatitis epidemics by preventing onward transmission to others through early diagnosis and treatment.
ECOM strongly supports integrated approaches in prevention, testing and care for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis. Many success stories of such an approach have been promoted as part of European Testing Week.