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HIV and HCV rapid testing in low threshold settings for PWUD

HIV and HCV rapid testing in low threshold settings for PWUD

This course has been designed to be a complete tool to provide staff in low-threshold settings the knowledge, skills and techniques needed for testing people who use drugs for HIV and HCV and linking them to needed care. It was developed within the EU-funded programme, Joint Action on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Tuberculosis among People Who Inject Drugs in Europe (HA-REACT).

Main topics:
  • Basic information about HIV, HCV, and TB
  • What types of HIV and HCV tests exists and how they work
  • The standards of test counselling
  • Understanding philosophy of harm reduction
  • Addressing gender issues within existing services and/or develop gender-specific services
  • Integrated approaches in realtion to substance use and HIV/HCV testing
  • What can be done to support linkage
  • How to choose the right tools and uderstand the meaning of quality
  • Standards for HIV and HCV testing in prison settings

The content of this course represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility; it can not be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

See also a PDF training manual on which this e-course is based.

It has been designed as an online self-study tool. To begin we recommend taking a few minutes to explore our platform, review the material and preview the assignments.

50 activities 01h 28 minutes of reading

I - Basic information about HIV, HCV and TB

In this module you will learn:

  • The biology of HIV and HCV; 
  • Modes of transmission of HIV and HCV; 
  • Screening and diagnosis methods for HIV and HCV; 
  • HIV and HCV treatment options;
  • Basic information about tuberculosis.

II - Different types of tests

By the end of the session participants will understand:

  • What types of HIV and HCV tests exists
  • How they work, and 
  • What the ‘window period’ is.

III - Pre- and post-test counselling

In this module participants will get to know:

  • The standards of pre-test and post-test counselling;
  • The procedure of counselling;
  • Importance of counselling.

IV - Developing services and attracting clients

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Understand philosophy of harm reduction;
  • Have concrete plans for developing their existing services and adding new services;
  • Understand public health ethical priorities of low-threshold services and negligence of not addressing behaviours that cause infections;
  • Engage PWUD in discussions about minimizing risks.

V - Gender-specific approach to services for PWUD

In this module participants will learn to:

  • Offer suggestions for mainstreaming gender into existing services for PWUD;
  • Expand access to women who use drugs (WUD) through appropriate gender-sensitive and gender-specific services;
  • Address gender issues within existing services and/or to develop gender-specific services;
  • Setting targets for scale-up to improve access to comprehensive HIV and care services, expanding coverage among WUD.

VI - Linkage to care

By the end of the module participants will understand:

  • Integrated approaches in relation to substance use and HIV/HCV testing;
  • The role of low threshold settings in improving linkage;
  • Main barriers to service integration;
  • What can be done to support linkage.

VII - Improving quality

In this module participants will learn about:

  • Quality improvement tools;
  • How to choose the right tool;
  • The meaning of quality.

VIII - HIV/HCV community-based counselling and testing in prison

In the final module participants will learn about:

  • An example of a German testing intervention for prison;
  • Requirements for test interventions in prison settings;
  • Standards for HIV and HCV testing in prison settings.