ProTEST is a community-based, free and anonymous rapid HIV testing program
Today the fight against HIV is done with various prevention tools. The test has now become one of these for various reasons: taking the HIV test, today, is always convenient, because the later you discover you have HIV the worse it is for the immune system, while timely diagnosis and therapy allow you to manage the infection effectively and over time, reduce the negative effects and reduce your infectivity to zero towards others. In short, one can live well and long and also avoid infecting others. Unfortunately, however, various structural factors still limit access to the test. To overcome this problem Arcigay has been offering directly with the ProTEST program since 2015, anonymously, quickly and free of charge, the HIV test in some Italian cities in a community-based way. Between 2015 and 2016 Arcigay offered over 2952 rapid tests and continued throughout 2017 in 10 cities. However, since the tests are paid for by Arcigay thanks to private funding, not all cities managed to consolidate the service and guarantee continuity, as well as other cities are waiting for there to be resources to start it.
The objective of the offer program is the emergence of the underground of undiagnosed HIV infections. Specific goal is to ensure the supply of rapid HIV tests, free and anonymous, by volunteers trained by Arcigay, in gay meeting places or at association offices to at least 4500 people, in 9 cities currently not covered by local resources.
The planned actions
Offer HIV testing:
- fourth generation (allows for a shorter “window period”);
- fast (20 minutes) and free;
- with trained (LGBTI and/or people with HIV) au pair volunteers;
- with volunteer and community health personnel;
- at association offices and gay meeting places;
- in at least 9 cities not currently covered by local resources.
- Purchase and offer of 1500 HIV tests in 3 cities currently not covered by local resources, including test training. Expected budget 10,000 euros;
- Purchase and offer of 1500 HIV tests in 3 others cities not covered by local resources, including training. Expected budget 10,000 euros;
- Purchase and offer of 1500 HIV tests in the last 3 cities for complete coverage set out of the total of 9 cities. Expected budget 10,000 euros.
To see the path that Arcigay has made up to now, all the activities carried out, and learn more about the topic, click here.