Background Despite ongoing prevention and educational efforts, the incidence of new HIV infections in 2011 in Italy is estimated at 3.9 per 100,000 and 21.0 per 100,000 among foreigners. Many new infections, more than half in AIDS stage (sex risk 78.8%), are caused by persons unaware of their HIV infection.
Methods On February 2012, the NIHMP (National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty, Rome) started a project aimed at promoting access of vulnerable people to HIV testing and at disseminating knowledge about STIs.
A Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test (MedMira, Halifax, Nova Scotia) is offered to patients of the infectious diseases unit together with STI counselling involving doctor, nurse, transcultural mediator and psychologist. The test is also proposed to people who had never performed it before. If the test is positive, a confirmatory venous test is required. Multilingual written consent and pre-counselling questionnaire about HIV/STI-related knowledge and stigma and sexual behaviours are provided. After 3–6 months, post-counselling questionnaire is administered.
Results At November 2012, 121 people were enrolled: 72 males (59.5%), 1 transgender, 103 migrants (85.1%), 9 homeless people (7.4%), 4 Roma (3.3%). 118 people accepted to undergo the test. 61 migrants (59.8%) performed it for the first time. The test was offered for screening (54), past STI (22), including two cases of HIV positivity, new STI (21) and STI risk (13). Two AIDS cases were reported (1.6%). Two tests (1.69%) were false positive. 8 tests (6.7%) were not defined because of previous positive laboratory HIV test/negative WB, co-occurrence of hepatitis, syphilis and scabies or aspirin treatment. 85 questionnaires (70.2%) were filled in. Couple counselling was conducted in 4 cases.
Conclusions Preliminary data show that rapid testing is accepted and effective as well as laboratory test. The experimental counselling approach for mobile populations involving transcultural mediators will be evaluated.
- prevention KL01,
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.