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Operational knowledge to improve HIV early diagnosis and treatment among vulnerable groups in Europe [Euro HIV EDAT] [20131101] - Project
General objectives

The overall purpose of the project is to generate operational knowledge to better understand the role and impact of Community Based Voluntary Counselling and Testing services (CBVCTs) across Europe, as well as to study the use of innovative strategies based on new technologies and social networks, to increase early HIV/STI diagnosis and treatment among the most vulnerable groups.
Six specific Objectives have been defined: 1)To monitor and evaluate CBVCT services in Europe; 2) To identify determinants for HIV test seeking behaviour and sexual risk behaviour among MSM in Europe; 3) To describe and improve approaches of linkage to health services for HIV/STI among MSM in Europe; 4) To improve the implementation of CBVCT services specifically addressed to MSM in Europe; 5) To describe HIV testing patterns and identify barriers to testing and care among migrant populations in Europe; 6) To assess acceptability and feasibility of innovative strategies and interventions aimed at increasing HIV counselling and testing.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

The project: 1)Emphasizes MSM –the more affected population in Europe- and migrants a vulnerable and emerging at risk group in many countries. 2)It falls within priorities of the European Health Program.3)It is build on the experience of COBATEST Project. 4)Is coordinated with HIV in Europe Initiative, ECDC, WHO and UNAIDS. 5)Has insured communication with previous EU projects like BORDENET Project and Eurosupport6. 6)Is in line with the Second Programme of Community Action in The Field of Health (2008-2013) and responds to the main priorities of the Communication on combating HIV/AIDS within the EU and the neighbouring countries, 2006-2009. 7)Has established synergic relationships with other initiatives like Correlation network and Civil Society Forum. 8)It is interdisciplinary at all levels of planning and implementing. 9)It includes NGOs with extensive field experience and public health experts with strong scientific background.
Outcomes of the he Euro HIV EDAT Project will contribute to decrease HIV/STI transmission, improve clinical outcomes and promote equity across Europe

Methods and means

Obj.1. A qualitative and a quantitative study will be performed among COBATEST network’s members. Data to estimate the COBATEST indicators will be collected. Obj.2.A subset of Checkpoints will participate in a prospective study collecting standardized data of HIV negative clients that will get tested at least once a year. Obj.3. A qualitative study among managers and clients of Checkpoints will be performed through interviews and focal groups. Obj.4. A toolkit for implementation of Checkpoints will be developed after a literature review and an expert’s meeting. Training sessions will be held. Obj.5.Literature review, interviews with migrants and key informants and a survey will be made. Obj.6.1. A KAB survey and interviews will be performed among potential users and CBVCTs’ Stakeholders. Obj.6.2. Oral fluid samples of MSM and migrants will be collected through outreach activities. Result will be provided through a website. Participants will be able to repeat the test after 4/12 months. An implementation manual for an integrated strategy for HIV Testing will be developed.

Expected outcomes period

Outcomes of the he Euro HIV EDAT Project will contribute to decrease HIV/STI transmission, improve clinical outcomes and promote equity across Europe. Specific guidelines and manuals will be developed targeted for MSM and migrants, two of the most affected groups by the HIV/STI epidemics in Europe. The project will contribute to the improvement of CBVCT services and will inform policy makers to better contextualize these interventions within their national HIV Prevention Programs. Crucial data to better design preventive interventions aimed and increasing test uptake among MSM and migrants will be provided. Information on acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of innovative interventions as self-testing and outreach interventions and the use of new technologies for results and counseling delivery will be made. Specifics manuals will be done.
Overall, the project outcomes will provide operational data and implementation manuals and guidelines to improve the effectiveness and scale up of testing and linkage to care programs, as well as some new tools to increase access to them.

Start date: 01/01/2014
End date: 01/07/2017
Duration: 42 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 1 179 927,00
Portfolio: Migration