Co-Lead - Strengthening Community Leadership for Decentralised Access to HIV and HCV Testing 

Back to the "Projects" list

What?

The Co-Lead project aims to equip community members involved in HIV and HCV related services delivery with up-to-date information about rapid diagnostic tests, regulatory issues and good/promising practices to inform planning of testing at community level. It will facilitate dialogue between community-based and influenced centres, policy/decision makers, and diagnostics companies to scale use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), including for self-testing to bring testing as close as can to populations most affected by HIV and HCV to ensure early diagnosis and linkage to care. The project will operate at a regional level (Europe and Central Asia) with a strong focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia and it will consider sub-regional specificities.

 

Why?

In line with EATG’s long-term strategy to empower affected communities to work in collaboration and to access the HIV, viral hepatitis, TB and STI prevention tools they need for prevention, treatment and care. EATG will implement a project focused on access to affordable, timely and quality testing tools for use in community settings.

The landscape of HIV, viral hepatitis, TB, and STI testing service delivery models continues to evolve alongside the introduction of novel biomedical technologies and evidence-based testing guidelines. As a result, testing for HIV and HCV has been brought closer to people who might not otherwise get tested or those who require routine testing; via community-based testing service delivery, self-testing, and the endorsement of approved rapid and/or dual diagnostics.

While COVID-19 may have disrupted the delivery of testing services at community centres in Europe, there is growing evidence demonstrating community-based organisations establishing and enhancing testing uptake by initiating service delivery options such as self-testing/sampling and task shifting.

 

How?

Building off of the mapping activity within DIAGNOSE, EATG will lead on a qualitative research piece via semi-structured interviews with key informants from selected countries in the WHO European region regarding the policies, regulations, and practical factors that are enabling and/or hindering community level access to RDTs for self-testing.

 

In Q4, EATG will organise an online community exchange workshop with key players involved in community-level testing service delivery where main findings from the qualitative research will be presented alongside presentations from partner organisations and agencies on the current state of play for HIV and HCV self-testing polices, practices, and evidence. This interactive online workshop will aim to strengthen capacities of community members involved in HIV and HCV related services delivery with up-to-date information about rapid diagnostic tests, regulatory issues and good/promising practices to inform planning of testing at community level. The workshop will provide a platform for mutual learning. Participants will learn from each other’s programming, practical solutions to strengthen their services offer and delivery, as well as advocacy efforts to overcome policy and financial barriers. A bilingual (EN/RU) summary report of this meeting will be produced and disseminated between 2021 Q4 and 2022 Q1.

 

In 2022 Q1, the qualitative research report will be disseminated in English and Russian in addition to a Policy and Practices Brief. The research report, Policy briefing and online community workshop summary will be strategically shared stakeholders via different communication channels and targeting countries part of the focused follow up. In 2022 Q1, preparation of abstracts and presentations on the qualitative research will be complete for submission to relevant conferences.

 

For/with whom?

Community members, Community-based/influenced organisations and other NGOs: EATG members, community networks of communities living with/ affected by HIV, viral hepatitis, Checkpoints, harm reduction services, community and civil society organizations providing screening services for key populations, partner networks.

 

Regional initiatives: EU HIV, Hep, TB Civil Society Forum, EuroTEST, COBATEST Network, Correlations-European Harm Reduction Network, ENPUD, European Testing Week, Alliance for Public Health, World Hepatitis Alliance, Regional projects.

 

Agencies: Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), UN agencies, including WHO Europe, UNAIDS, ECDC, EMCDDA, clinical societies, other national/international public health agencies, and donors (Global Fund, USAID, EC). Industry: Diagnostics manufacturers of RDTs, self-testing kits for HIV and/or HCV.

 

For what outcome?

The project is intended to equip community members, particularly those based in countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, that are involved in testing services delivery with up-to-date information, and to build on their experiences to inform planning of services. It will foster and strengthen collaboration and communication between community-based and influenced centres, policy makers/decision makers, and diagnostics companies. Meetings and communication under this project should advance community dialogue with and access to diagnostics manufacturers to integrate community perspective needs in the research and development of user-friendly diagnostic tools and testing policy.

EATG contact person(s):Ann Isabelle von Lingen – annisabelle.vonlingen@eatg.org

Sarah North – sarah.north@eatg.org

Duration of the project/initiative:2021 – 2022
Project/Initiative Leader:EATG
Project/initiative Main Partner(s):Community members and community-based/influenced organisations and NGOs (EATG members, community networks of communities living with/ affected by HIV, viral hepatitis, Checkpoints, harm reduction services, community and civil society organizations providing screening services for key populations, partner networks)

Regional initiatives: EU HIV, Hep, TB Civil Society Forum, EuroTEST, COBATEST Network, Correlations-European Harm Reduction Network, ENPUD, European Testing Week, Alliance for Public Health, World Hepatitis Alliance, Regional projects. Agencies (ECDC, EMCDDA, WHO Europe, EU CSF HIV, Hepatitis, TB)

Industry: Diagnostics manufacturers of RDTs, self-testing kits for HIV and/or HCV.

Agencies: Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), UN agencies, including WHO Europe, UNAIDS, ECDC, EMCDDA, clinical societies, other national/international public health agencies, and donors (Global Fund, USAID, EC). Industry: Diagnostics manufacturers of RDTs, self-testing kits for HIV and/or HCV.

Budget:23,208.05 €
Main Funding Sources:Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
Links:
Communication Disclaimer:Co-Lead is a collaborative effort between EATG and FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics

Get involved

Are you living with HIV/AIDS? Are you part of a community affected by HIV/AIDS and co-infections? Do you work or volunteer in the field? Are you motivated by our cause and interested to support our work?

Subscribe

Stay in the loop and get all the important EATG updates in your inbox with the EATG newsletter. The HIV & co-infections bulletin is your source of handpicked news from the field arriving regularly to your inbox.