The first results of the COBA-Cohort, a project associated with the COBATEST Network, are now available online. The study is a cohort of HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) tested for HIV in community-based voluntary counselling and STI/HIV testing (CBVCT) in six different European countries. The full report can be read here.
“We currently have two members in Eastern Europe and Central Asia but we would like to increase this number to improve the Network’s representation,” the coordinator of the COBATEST Network Anna Conway is saying. “COBATEST Network is one of the ways to link organisations across Europe who offer CBVCT services and promote testing, early diagnosis and linkage to care in at-risk populations. At present, 52 CBVCTs in 21 European countries participate in the network.”
The COBATEST Network, established in 2009 within the HIV-COBATEST project under the European Union Public Health Programme, links CBVCTs across Europe. The COBATEST mission is to promote HIV/STI testing and linkage to care and treatment among key populations, to improve CBVCT service quality in Europe, to share good practices and to provide tools to strengthen collaborative work between professionals.
The results from the 2017 report demonstrated that key populations are using COBATEST members’ services more frequently than the general population. Last year COBATEST members performed 111,579 HIV tests. Of the 1,421 tests that were reactive, 859 were reported as having a positive confirmatory test. Testing was the most efficient in men who have sex with men, male sex-workers and transgender populations.
More information on how to join the network can be found here.