A presentation made by Dr.Laura Fernàndez-López was granted Best Poster Awards at HepHIV conference. The work presented by Dr.Fernàndez-López was based on an article developed with join effort of COBATEST together with EuroTest and other international organizations representing the community. The study investigated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on testing services for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections in the WHO European Region, March to August 2020, based on the survey assessment developed by the partners and implemented in the participating regions. Please see full article online.

The HepHIV conference took place 5-7 May 2021 in an online format. CEEISCAT presented two abstracts in form of a poster and a presentation with the descriptive data collected by COBATEST network.

A poster was presented with descriptive data on Community-Based Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV, Sífilis and HCV in Europe based on data collected by COBATEST network members. Testing data presented was collected by 50 CBVCT services in 19 countries during the period of 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019, using the COBATEST standardized data reporting tools. Members reported total of 129,484  clients tested for HIV, 29,471 for Hepatitis and 28,747 for syphilis. The percentage of reactive HIV tests among members varied from 0.0% to 6.2%, with an average of 1.1%. Proportion of tests performed among population groups demonstrated need for CBVCT centers to scale-up access to HIV testing for SW and PWIDs and help them be aware of their infection status and further link them to proper care and treatment. Please find full presentation online.

A presentation was conducted on Evolution of key indicators for Community-Based Voluntary Counseling and Testing activity in Europe based on data collected by COBATEST Network during three consecutive years. From 2017 to 2019thirty-eight (2017) to fifty centers (2019) reported data using the COBATEST standardized data reporting tools. Members reported total of 371,227 clients tested for HIV, 45,399 for Hepatitis and 53,395 for syphilis. The percentage of reactive HIV tests across the years varied from 1.1% (2018 and 2019) to 1.3% (2017), with 1.2% for total population tested during the three years. Proportion of tests performed among population groups demonstrated that there are still gaps in testing, especially among transgender people and PWID. Further comprehensive research is needed to understand testing behavior of these groups so that CBVCTs can improve strategies tailored towards these clients. Please find full presentation online.

First half of COBATEST members annual meeting took place December 3rd 2020, where the 2019 Report was launched. You can view the report and minutes of the meeting online. Second half of COBATEST meeting took place June 18 2021, where the members discussed community service provision in times of the COVID pandemic. You can view the minutes of the meeting online. Both meetings took place online due to the pandemic.