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      HIV testing strategies employed in health care settings in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA): evidence from a systematic review

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          Despite the availability of HIV testing guidelines to facilitate prompt diagnosis, late HIV diagnosis remains high across Europe. The study synthesizes recent evidence on HIV testing strategies adopted in health care settings in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA).


          Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed and systematic searches were run in five databases (2010–2017) to identify studies describing HIV testing interventions in health care settings in the EU/EEA. The grey literature was searched for unpublished studies (2014–2017). Two reviewers independently performed study selection, data extraction and critical appraisal.


          One hundred and thirty intervention and/or feasibility studies on HIV testing in health care settings were identified. Interventions included testing provision ( n = 94), campaigns ( n = 14) and education and training for staff and patients ( n = 20). HIV test coverage achieved through testing provision varied: 2.9–94% in primary care compared to 3.9–66% in emergency departments. HIV test positivity was lower in emergency departments (0–1.3%) and antenatal services (0–0.05%) than in other hospital departments (e.g. inpatients: 0–5.3%). Indicator condition testing programmes increased HIV test coverage from 3.9–72% before to 12–85% after their implementation, with most studies reporting a 10–20% increase. There were 51 feasibility and/or acceptability studies that demonstrated that HIV testing interventions were generally acceptable to patients and providers in health care settings (e.g. general practitioner testing acceptable: 77–93%).


          This review has identified several strategies that could be adopted to achieve high HIV testing coverage across a variety of health care settings and populations in the EU/EEA. Very few studies compared the intervention under investigation to a baseline, but, where this was assessed, data suggested increases in testing.

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          Simultaneous Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Hepatitis B-Hepatitis C Point-of-Care Tests Improve Outcomes in Linkage-to-Care: Results of a Randomized Control Trial in Persons Without Healthcare Coverage

          In this randomized-control trial, conducted at a free clinic in France for predominately immigrant populations without healthcare, we demonstrate that simultaneous HIV/HBV/HCV point-of-care rapid testing improves screening outcomes. Increased awareness of infection status likely helped link these patients to care.
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            Optimal time for initiation of antiretroviral therapy in asymptomatic, HIV-infected, treatment-naive adults.

             Nandi Siegfried (corresponding) ,  Olalekan A Uthman,  George Rutherford (2010)
            According to consensus, initiation of therapy is best based on CD4 cell count, a marker of immune status, rather than on viral load, a marker of virologic replication. For patients with advanced symptoms, treatment should be started regardless of CD4 count. However, the point during the course of HIV infection at which antiretroviral therapy (ART) is best initiated in asymptomatic patients remains unclear. Guidelines issued by various agencies provide different initiation recommendations according to resource availability. This can be confusing for clinicians and policy-makers when determining the best time to initiate therapy. Optimizing the initiation of ART is clearly complex and must, therefore, be balanced between individual and broader public health needs. To assess the evidence for the optimal time to initiate ART in treatment-naive, asymptomatic, HIV-infected adults We formulated a comprehensive and exhaustive search strategy in an attempt to identify all relevant studies regardless of language or publication status (published, unpublished, in press, and in progress). In August 2009, we searched the following electronic journal and trial databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL. We also searched the electronic conference database of NLM Gateway, individual conference proceedings and prospective trials registers. We contacted researchers and relevant organizations and checked reference lists of all included studies. Randomized controlled trials that compared the effect of ART consisting of three drugs initiated early in the disease at high CD4 counts as defined by the trial. Early initiation could be at levels of 201-350, 351-500, or >500 cells/microL, with the comparison group initiating ART at CD4 counts below 200 x 10(6) cells/microL or as defined by the trial. Two review authors independently assessed study eligibility, extracted data, and graded methodological quality. Data extraction and methodological quality were checked by a third author who resolved differences when these arose. Where clinically meaningful to do so, we meta-analysed dichotomous outcomes using the relative risk (RR) and report the 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). One completed trial (N = 816) and one sub-group (N = 249) of a larger trial met inclusion criteria. We combined the mortality data for both trials comparing initiating ART at CD4 levels at 350 cells/microL or between 200 and 350 cells/microL with deferring initiation of ART to CD4 levels of 250 cells/microL or 200 cells/microL. There was a statistically significant reduction in death when starting ART at higher CD4 counts. Risk of death was reduced by 74% (RR = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.62; P = 0.002). Risk of tuberculosis was reduced by 50% in the groups starting ART early; this was not statistically significant, with the reduction as much as 74% or an increased risk of up to 12% (RR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.26, 1.12; P = 0.01). Starting ART at enrollment (when participants had CD4 counts of 350 cells/microL) rather than deferring to starting at a CD4 count of 250 cells/microL reduced the risk of disease progression by 70%; this was not statistically significant, with the reduction in risk as much as 97% or an increased risk of up to 185% (RR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.03, 2.85; P = 0.29).One RCT found no statistically significant difference in the number of independent Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurring in the early and standard ART groups when we conducted an intention-to-treat analysis (RR = 1.72; 95% CI: 0.98, 3.03; P = 0.06). However, when analyzing only participants who actually commenced ART in the deferred group (n = 160), the trial authors report a statistically significant increase in the incidence of zidovudine-related anaemia (8.1%) compared with those in the early initiation group (3.4%) (RR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.20, 0.88; P = 0.02). There is evidence of moderate quality that initiating ART at CD4 levels higher than 200 or 250 cells/microL reduces mortality rates in asymptomatic, ART-naive, HIV-infected people. Practitioners and policy-makers may consider initiating ART at levels
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              Antenatal screening for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis in the Netherlands is effective

              Background A screening programme for pregnant women has been in place since the 1950s in the Netherlands. In 2004 universal HIV screening according to opting out was implemented. Here, we describe the evaluation of the effectiveness of antenatal screening in the Netherlands for 2006-2008 for HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and syphilis in preventing mother-to-child transmission, by using various data sources. Methods The results of antenatal screening (2006-2008) were compared with data from pregnant women and newborns from other data sources. Results Each year, around 185,000 pregnant women were screened for HIV, HBV and syphilis. Refusal rates for the screening tests were low, and were highest (0.2%) for HIV. The estimated annual prevalence of HIV among pregnant women was 0.05%. Prior to the introduction of screening, 5-10 children were born with HIV annually After the introduction of screening in 2004, only 4 children were born with HIV (an average of 1 per year). Two of these mothers had become pregnant prior to 2004; the third mother was HIV negative at screening and probably became infected after screening; the fourth mother's background was unknown. Congenital syphilis was diagnosed in fewer than 5 newborns annually and 5 children were infected with HBV. In 3 of these, the mothers were HBeAg positive (a marker for high infectivity). We estimated that 5-10 HIV, 50-75 HBV and 10 syphilis cases in newborns had been prevented annually as a result of screening. Conclusions The screening programme was effective in detecting HIV, HBV and syphilis in pregnant women and in preventing transmission to the child. Since the introduction of the HIV screening the number of children born with HIV has fallen dramatically. Previous publication [Translation from: 'Prenatale screening op hiv, hepatitis B en syphilis in Nederland effectief', published in 'The Dutch Journal of Medicine ' (NTVG, in Dutch)]

                Author and article information

                HIV Med
                HIV Med
                HIV Medicine
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                14 November 2019
                March 2020
                : 21
                : 3 ( doiID: 10.1111/hiv.v21.3 )
                : 163-179
                [ 1 ] Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control Public Health England London UK
                [ 2 ] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Solna Sweden
                [ 3 ] University of Pisa Pisa Italy
                [ 4 ] Directorate of HIV and Sexual Health Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust London UK
                [ 5 ] CHIP Rigshospitalet ‐ University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Ø Denmark
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence: Dr Sarika Desai, Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 83277548; e‐mail: sarika.desai@ 123456phe.gov.uk

                © 2019 The Authors. HIV Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British HIV Association

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Pages: 17, Words: 12337
                Funded by: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100000805;
                Award ID: ECDC/2016/035
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                March 2020
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.7 mode:remove_FC converted:11.03.2020

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                hiv testing, hiv diagnosis and adults, health care, europe, adults


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