Get involved with European Testing Week
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 call to ‘End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, waterborne and other communicable diseases.’ Countries within the WHO European Region have committed to implement the SDGs and monitor progress towards achieving these goals, however early diagnosis and linkage to care for these infections remain to be challenge. In particular to eliminating HIV and viral hepatitis in the region, although significant progress has been made, overall numbers of people diagnosed with HIV continues to trend highest in the Eastern Region and a high proportion of people living with hepatitis B and C infection remain undiagnosed. Additionally, every year, there are more than 500,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections, particularly chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, in the EU/EAA, placing a significant burden on the region. Adding further challenges to the elimination of these infections, the global COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has significantly impacted service providers and limited surveillance capacity.
In order to achieve the SDGs by 2030, more people need to be aware of their infection. Testing is the gateway to prevention, treatment, care and support. The earlier a person becomes aware of their infection, the sooner they can receive treatment, prevent possible transmission, and have better health outcomes.
European Testing Week serves as a reminder on the importance of testing for HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs and provides an outlet for all actors involved in the provision of testing services in the WHO European Region (including community, health care and public health institutions) to advocate for increased access to testing, especially for key vulnerable populations.