OBJECTIVE: The central goal of the HIV in Europe Initiative is to promote testing and treatment throughout Europe and Central Asia in order to decrease the number of people living with HIV presenting late for care. This article summarizes the results from the HIV in Europe 2009 Conference and the early results of the projects set up by the initiative, and discusses their implications for the future.
METHODS: In November 2009, 100 key stakeholders from 25 countries met in Stockholm at the HIV in Europe Conference. The focus was to address five key issues that contribute to the barriers to testing identified in 2007 at an innovative HIV conference. The conference discussed barriers to testing and other reasons for late presentation and outlined concrete recommendations to address the problem.
RESULTS: An early result of the initiative has been stimulation of the process of reaching a consensus definition of what is meant by a 'late presenter', with this definition to be implemented at the European level. Steps are being taken to advocate for appropriate health policies and surveillance data related to HIV throughout Europe. Also, the initiative has set up projects related to the barriers to testing, i.e. criminalization law, stigmatization and lack of offering of testing for people presenting with certain indicator diseases.
CONCLUSIONS: The final results of ongoing projects will be published and widely disseminated in 2010 and beyond. The HIV in Europe Initiative will continue to reinforce collaboration, advocacy and networking activities in the field throughout Europe.
- AIDS Serodiagnosis
- HIV Infections
- Health Policy
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't