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AIDS Care. 2016;28(6):712-6. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2016.1164290. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Implementation of rapid HIV and HCV testing within harm reduction programmes for people who inject drugs: a pilot study.

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a Centre for Epidemiological Studies on HIV/STI in Catalonia (CEEISCAT) , Institut Catala d'Oncologia (ICO), Agencia de Salut Publica de Catalunya (ASPC), Generalitat de Catalunya , Badalona , Spain.
b CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP) , Madrid , Spain.
c Fundació Institut d'Investigacio Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) , Badalona , Spain.
d Subdirecció General de Drogodependències , Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya , Barcelona , Spain.
e Departament de Pediatria, d'Obstetricia i Ginecologia i de Medicina Preventiva i de Salut Publica , Univ Autonoma Barcelona , Badalona , Spain.


Including HCV and HIV rapid tests in harm reduction programmes (HRP) for people who inject drugs (PWID) can increase detection of these infections in high-risk populations who do not seek conventional health care.


To assess acceptability and feasibility of rapid HIV and HCV tests in HRP; to identify HIV and HCV prevalence rates in HRP; to identify the percentage of PWID with a reactive test that attend hospital for confirmation and follow-up. Rapid oral tests for HCV and HIV were offered to users of 13 HRP from both mobile units and facility-based centres. A total of 172 HCV and 198 HIV tests were performed, with a refusal rate of 1.7% and 10.4%, respectively. Injectors made up 64.9% of all drug users and 35.1% did not inject drugs. Overall, 20.3% of HCV tests and 2.5% of HIV test were reactive. Only 24 of the 35 reactive HCV could be confirmed (68.6%) and one was false-negative. Of the five HIV reactive cases, only two could be confirmed (40%) with 1 false-positive case. Acceptability of rapid HIV and HCV tests among HRP users was high. The usefulness of oral rapid tests in HRP has been demonstrated, especially in mobile HRP.


HCV; HIV; IDU; harm reduction programmes; rapid tests

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