European Testing Week (ETW) is a European campaign that encourages partner organisations in the community, health care, and policy institutions throughout Europe to unite for one week twice a year to increase testing efforts and promote awareness on the benefits of earlier hepatitis and HIV, TB, STI testing. TBEC is proud to be an endorser of European Testing Week, an initiative that has progressed since its start in 2013 and has grown to be a widely recognised European event with hundreds of organisations participating every year. ETW started as an annual event but has now become a biannual event. The organisations volunteer their own time to organise their Testing Week activities and create incredible displays of a united effort to increase testing awareness at all organisational levels.
This is its ninth year; This year’s spring event of European Testing Week will take place on 14–21 May 2021. Read more SETW 2021 WG statement here.
European Testing Week is relying on three core groups to help ensure it achieves its aim and is a success; these are civil society organisations, healthcare professionals, and government bodies. These groups may be active within the HIV and/or hepatitis fields, in line with the wider campaign, which aims to encourage testing and raise awareness in both of these disease areas.
In some European countries, community-based hepatitis and/or HIV testing is not legal or not in line with local guidelines. ETW therefore, recommends that organisations participating in ETW adapt and tailor their activities according to their capabilities and local considerations.
In widening the scope of ETW to include hepatitis, we are conscious that some organisations may only be able to offer either HIV or hepatitis testing. For example, if hepatitis testing is not routinely available through civil society organisations or some healthcare settings in your country, you may want to focus your activities on lobbying government bodies at a national level to improve access by making them aware of the individual, societal and economic benefits of hepatitis testing initiatives.
The COVID-19 has impacted health services in different ways, lessons learnt will be essential in addressing other health concerns and for the foreseeable future, there is a need to create innovative ways and funding to accelerate testing services for other infectious diseases and be prepared for any future pandemics.
In many countries, communities and mainly groups that are marginalised often face barriers to accessing healthcare services. It is urgent that we unite now to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring access to testing as an essential health service without discrimination if we want to attain the SDG. This is especially for marginalized and stigmatized populations such as sex workers, women, people who use drugs, LGBTQ+ people, and migrants, who are often most at risk and most in need of targeted services.
The primary goal of European Testing Week is to make more people aware of their HIV and/or hepatitis status and reduce late diagnosis. These goals are achieved by communicating the benefits of testing and supporting ongoing dialogue among all partners in the HIV and hepatitis communities.
TBEC advocates for integrated approaches to testing, treatment, and prevention, for people living with TB, HIV and viral hepatitis, and STIs.
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