Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on testing for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections in the WHO European Region

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have profound effects on health systems and services worldwide and many HIV, viral hepatitis and/or sexually transmitted infection (STI) service providers in Europe have experienced interruptions in their ability to provide prevention, testing and treatment for these infections.

Diagnosis and linkage to care of persons living with HIV, HBV, HCV and STI were already among the critical challenges in the WHO European Region before the COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital to understand how the pandemic continues to affect testing services and how to mitigate this impact going forward.

In 2020, in order to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on testing efforts for these infections in the WHO European Region, a consortium of partners, led by EuroTEST and representing community organisations, health care and public health institutions, developed and conducted a baseline assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on testing services for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections in the WHO European Region. The results were published here and presented at various regional meetings. 

In 2021, a shorter follow-up assessment is being launched, aiming to document the quantitative and structural impact of COVID on testing for HIV, HBV, HCV, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea in different settings (laboratories, specialist clinical services and community organisations providing testing for one or more of these infections) as well as how testing services have continued to adapt to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 during 2021.

The specific survey objectives are to:

  1. Assess the quantitative and structural impact of COVID on testing and linkage to care for HIV, HBV, HCV, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea as of 2021
  2. Identify potential factors associated with this impact
  3. Collect information on measures and service adaptations implemented to mitigate impact and identify areas where guidance or support are needed.

Results from the 2021 assessment will be used to inform advocacy efforts, facilitate knowledge sharing and inform next steps in the regional response to HIV, viral hepatitis and STI. The findings will be published in 2022.

The survey is available in English and Russian, contains between 14 and 22 questions, depending on type of service, and will take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

Access the survey here: https://redcap.link/COVID-19_impact_2021

The deadline for responding has been extended to 13 March 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact the EuroTEST secretariat at eurotest.rigshospitalet@regionh.dk.

Downloads