European Testing Week 2019
22–29 November 2019
Now in its 7th year since launching in 2013 and in its 5th year of focusing on hepatitis as well as HIV, European Testing Week will take place once again on 22–29 November 2019.
European Testing Week is a European-wide campaign that encourages public and partner organizations, communities and public health institutes throughout the WHO European Region to unite for 1 week to scale up voluntary testing. It promotes awareness of the benefits of earlier diagnosis of HIV and viral hepatitis infections and of effective links 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 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 them most; and
- help end the HIV and hepatitis epidemics by preventing onward transmission to others through early diagnosis and treatment.
WHO strongly supports integrated approaches in prevention, testing and care for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis. Just 2 weeks before European Testing Week 2019, WHO issued a strong recommendation on HIV testing, urging countries to stop using the slow, less accurate western blot and line immunoassay methods in favour of simple, rapid tests.