European testing week to generate awareness of HIV status
Testing week aims to:
- encourage people who could have been at risk of HIV to get a test;
- encourage healthcare professionals to offer an HIV test as part of routine care in specific settings and conditions (in line with present European guidelines);
- support and unite community organisations to scale-up HIV testing and share lessons learned between countries; and
- make more policymakers aware of the socioeconomic benefits of HIV testing initiatives and how to evaluate HIV testing practices.
The focus of the testing week this year is on supporting dialogue between all partners in order to encourage at risk individuals to ask for an HIV test and for more HIV tests to be offered to those at risk.
In 2012, England ran a successful HIV testing week during the week running up to World AIDS Day on 1 December. Due to its success, a number of HIV organisations across Europe agreed that a European HIV testing week would be an effective approach to help increase access to free, confidential and voluntary HIV testing across Europe. The first European HIV testing week was held in November 2013 and more than 470 organisations took part.
The initiative is led by HIV in Europe and all interested countries, organisations and individuals in the WHO European Region are invited to implement activities during the week and support dialogue to promote HIV testing.