Rapid HIV antibody tests, which provide results within 15-60 minutes, can help reduce the number of unrecognized infections by improving access to testing facilities and increase the number of people tested who know their results. After an acceptability study, rapid HIV testing was first implemented in Catalonia in 2007 within the community-based Voluntary Counselling and Testing sites network. One year after implementation, an increase of 102.9% has been observed in the number of tests performed, ranging from 8.4% to 328.3% according to the site. Despite the important immediate impact of rapid HIV testing on the number of tests performed, there was no significant change in the proportion of tests that were positive. Rapid HIV testing can help increase access to testing, but it should be complemented with specific outreach programmes targeting the most vulnerable subgroups.
- Access to testing
- Early HIV diagnosis
- Impact assessment
- Rapid HIV test
- Voluntary counselling and testing