It’s European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week

European Testing Week
17-24 November 2014

Why is a European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week needed?
Today, at least one in four of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in Europe are unaware that they are HIV positive. Nearly half of those living with HIV are diagnosed late – which delays access to treatment.
Hepatitis B and C are common among people at risk of and living with HIV.  Around 13.3 million people are living with hepatitis B in the WHO European Region; approximately 20-30% of infected individuals will develop cirrhosis, liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. 5 15 million people in the WHO European Region are living with hepatitis C; however, the majority of people with hepatitis C remain undiagnosed and only a small minority in Europe (3.5%) receive treatment.
These statistics suggest that we need to be doing more to encourage individuals who are unknowingly living with HIV and/or hepatitis to take a test, and to better target people who could be at risk.
By encouraging people to become aware of their HIV and/or hepatitis status as soon as possible, people living with HIV and hepatitis can live long with early treatment; and those with hepatitis C can be cured.

What are the benefits of testing…

…For HIV?

  • Those who are diagnosed with HIV early are more likely to respond well to treatment and live healthily for longer
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the likelihood of onward transmission to others
  • Those who are diagnosed later are more likely to suffer health complications and premature death
    …For hepatitis?
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the likelihood of onward transmission to others
  • Those who are diagnosed later are more likely to suffer health complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma

From European Testing Week fact sheets. See the website for more information and sources. 

Helpful links:
European HIV Test Finder – where to get tested near you

European Testing week – for more information. Irish organisations listed under Republic of Ireland.

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