Optimising testing and linkage to care for HIV






OptTEST Results

The HIV Medicine special issue “Outcomes of the HepHIV 2017 Malta Conference: Joining Forces for Earlier Diagnosis and Linkage to Care Across Europe” includes three short communications presenting OptTEST conclusions and results. 

Read the special issue here


Final Newsletter

The last OptTEST Newsletter has now been sent and this is marking the end of OptTEST. A very sincere thank you to all partners , collaborators and followers for your support and engagement in the project!   



What are the barriers to HIV testing and treatment access – and how do we overcome them?

Read the great NAM interview with Lisa Power on her work in OptTEST on legal and regulatory barriers here. 


National Stakeholder Meeting Madrid
In order to discuss how findings from the OptTEST project can help curving the HIV epidemic in Spain a National Stakeholder Meeting with the title 

Optimizing HIV testing and Linkage to care in Spain was held 14 September 2017 at the National Center for Epidemiology, ISCIII, Madrid, Spain. The agenda is available here. 


OptTEST Final Conference

On 19 September 2017 the OptTEST final conference was held in Brussels to present policy relevant outcomes from the two EU-co financed projects OptTEST and Euro HIV Edat. Meting report and presentations will soon be available here.  


Community Training, Berlin

On the 13-14 September 2017 a community training course was held in Berlin for selected activists. The aim was to address punitive and restrictive legal environments hindering early HIV diagnosis and linkage to care. The training drew on the OptTEST research, interventions and advocacy toolkit on legal and regulatory barriers. 


OptTEST meeting in Barcelona, Spain

On 10 July a meeting was held in Barcelona, Spain discussing HIV testing in Primary Care. Catalan initiatives for improving HIV testing in primary care were presented, as well as results from OptTEST and WP5 in particular on indicator condition guided testing and the review of specialty guidelines done in Spain.


Stakeholder meetings in Lisbon

OptTEST has arranged in collaboration with GAT and SER+, Portugal,  two national stakeholder meetings in Lisbon: 5th of June 2017: Knowledge about HIV and implementation of HIV test in Primary Care; 6th of June 2017: Linkage to care: Current perspectives on data collection, barriers to linkage to care and retention with focus on key groups. 


Launch of tools

OptTEST tools developed to optimise HIV testing and linkage to care were launched at an evening reception 25 July in conjunction with IAS 2017 in Paris. Invitation and agenda available here.


OptTEST at BHIVA 2017
During the BHIVA conference in April, WP4 of the OptTEST project, ran a quality of care data drop-in clinic organised by Public Health England. In the UK, one of the OptTEST pilot countries, data collected as part of the national surveillance of HIV is used to create local dashboards of HIV care quality (e.g. measurements of linkage to care, retention in care, treatment coverage etc).  

Cost-effectiveness of HIV testing in Spain

Julia del Amo presented the OptTEST modeling  work on cost-effectiveness of HIV testing approaches in Spain at the XVIII Spanish National Congress on AIDS and STIs held in Sevilla, Spain, 22-24 March 2017.  The presentation is available here.


OptTEST at CROI 2017

Guillaume Mabileau presented OptTEST results on "EFFECTIVENESS AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF HIV SCREENING STRATEGIES ACROSS EUROPE" at CROI in Seattle In February. The poster is available here.  


EU Health Programme Projects' Symposium at HepHIV 2017

The symposium was co-organized between OptTEST, Euro HIV EDAT and Chafea and had as its aim to foster dialogue, discussion and collaboration among EU co-financed projects and actions within the field of HIV, Hepatitis and TB.  Pictures and presentations are available here.



Find all OptTEST posters and presentations from HepHIV 2017 Conference under publications


OptTEST Newsletter #10

Read about OptTEST at the HepHIV Conference in this newsletter. OptTEST partners will be presenting results in different sessions during the conference, and the last day is a symposium sponsored by OptTEST with special focus on optimization of testing and linkage to care.


OptTEST Newsletter #9

Read about OptTEST national Continuum of Care meetings in Greece and Poland, national cost-effectiveness seminars in France, Spain and Estonia - and other activities and upcoming events here.   


WP6 presented results at a national level meeting in Estonia on the 19th December. The meeeting  took place in the Ministry of Social Affairs. The aim was to introduce the methods and results of the cost-effectiveness analysis to Estonian stakeholders and have a discussion about what should be changed in HIV testing in Estonia - and how - based on the results. The invited participants were from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Insurance, Health Board, Estonian Society for Infectious Diseases and other professional societies, WHO Estonia, universities, and patient and vulnerable group representatives (PLHIV, sex workers, PWID and MSM). 

New database on barriers
Barring The Way To Health is a new searchable database which outlines a range of impediments to key populations and others with HIV who seek testing and access to care across the 53 countries of Europe and Central Asia. You can pull out a particular issue that concerns you across Europe, or read about a particular country. You can comment and offer amendments - and if your country is one of the small minority not yet covered, we welcome your information on it. 

Dorthe Raben on HIV testing
Short interview with Dorthe Raben discussing European Testing Week, HIV in Europe and OptTEST today. Please watch and share.

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week

Now in its fourth year and the second time hepatitis testing has been included, European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week run 18-25 November 2016. Testing week is spanning the length and breadth of the continent with partners participating from over 50 European countries. Over 500 organizations have signed up to unite for one week to increase awareness of the benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing. 


OptTEST at Glasgow

OptTEST had a poster by Lisa Power on legal and regulatory barriers to HIV testing at HIV Drug Therapy, Glasgow 2016 and the outcomes of the work is described in this video clip   


Continuum of Care in Poland

On 14 and 15 October OptTEST co-organized the 1st Polish Workshop on the Continuum of Care for HIV. The aim was to create a platform for discussion on how to further strengthen the HIV Continuum of Care in Poland. The participants were national and international HIV clinicians, surveillance people and community organizations. 


Linkage to care Athens

26th September the OptTEST and Positive Voice Greece held a stakeholder meeting in Athens, Greece, to discuss Linkage to care  and national challenges in data collection. The meeting was hosted by Greek CDC (KEELPNO) 


Newsletter # 8

Read about OptTEST activities in the latest Newsletter


Legal Barriers Database

Check out this new database  on legal and regulatory barriers to HIV testing, linkage to care and treatment access across Europe developed by OptTEST partner GNP+ and consultant Lisa Power in collaboration with NAM. The data stems from an online survey answered by 78 respondents covering 2/3 of the 53 WHO European countries. The data will be updated and coverage improved based on feedback from the users. The database can be found here


IC-guided HIV testing

Read an interview with Ann Sullivan in EUROBulletin where she reflects on the changing direction of HIV testing approaches and discusses opportunities for normalising HIV testing and using community and indicator condition-guided testing strategies to reduce late diagnosis.


OptTEST press release from Durban

“Testing is the entry step to saving lives and must be fully accessible” Read the full OptTEST press release from Durban here


OptTEST Newsletter
Read the latest OptTEST newsletter here   

2nd OptTEST Annual Meeting

The OptTEST 2nd annual meeting took place in Madrid at the National School of Health located at the ISCIII  from 17-18 May. Partners and collaborators  met to discuss progress, challenges and sustainability for the project, which is entering its third year. 


ECDC Expert meeting on HIV testing
WP5 lead Ann Sullivan presented recently published results on IC guided HIV testing at the Expert meeting: Evaluation of ECDC HIV Testing Guidance in the EU/EEA, Stockholm 28-29 January 2016. Ann presented work from OptTEST Work Package 5 on developing tools and implementing quality interventions to increase the offer of HIV testing to patients diagnosed with ICs. See meeting report here

Conference on HIV testing above the age of 50
OptTESt partner EATG runs the Ageing with HIV - A Lifecycle Approach project about growing up and growing old with HIV. The conference “New Challenges and Unmet Needs of People Living With HIV/AIDS Aged 50+” was organised in Berlin between 31 March and 3 April 2016. Read more here.   

Meeting of the ECDC STI and HIV Networks

Bratislava, 9 March  2016 Sara Croxford, Public Health England, presented OptTEST WP4 work with focus on the analysis made on the feasibility of using the HIV TESSy dataset (case-based reporting of all new diagnoses made in the WHO European Region) to monitor linkage to care in Europe. The meeting report can be found here


European HIV Prevention Summit

Lisa Power presenting what works and what doesn't work in HIV testing at The European HIV Prevention Summit hosted by AVAC and EATG in Brussels, 29-31 January 2016 .  


5 OptTEST Posters at EACS

5 OptTEST posters were presented at EACS! They can be downloaded here

OptTEST pamphlets:      
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