Today, the European AIDS Treatment Group launches a report along with recommendations on access to HCV-related services in prison settings in Europe. At the same time, a pilot Spring European Hepatitis-HIV Testing Week is taking place from 18- 25 May 2018 to promote a scaling up of HIV and viral hepatitis testing, in particular in underserved communities. In this framework, we publish the report and recommendations to provide evidence for the need to expand coverage of testing and counselling services for the disproportionately burdened populations in detention.
Drawing on research on the state of access to services related to Hepatitis C in prison settings in Europe and Central Asia, which has highlighted major shortcomings across the countries as well as some promising practices in few countries, the European AIDS Treatment Group calls on national and prison authorities to scale up access to voluntary and confidential testing and counselling for people in detention. In particular, we call on national and prison authorities, healthcare providers and civil society to:
- Make testing and care fully accessible in prison settings, including via trained lay providers
- Provide integrated testing for relevant infections
- Ensure that testing and counselling is voluntary and the confidentiality of result is ensured
“Our research indicates that no country has a system of care for people in detention that meets the standards that apply to the general population. However, it must be highlighted that some countries like Moldova, Estonia or Slovenia provide more advanced services than countries that provide good standards to the general populations such as UK or Ireland” comments EATG Executive Director, Koen Block. “At this pace, it would be impossible for European governments to reach the goals they have committed themselves to by 2030, leaving behind this population.”
You can download the press release here.