Objective To describe a community-based HIV testing programme.
Design and setting An intervention of HIV voluntary testing conducted in non-medical settings in four French cities.
Participants Men who have sex with men (MSM).
Intervention Counselling and rapid HIV testing staffed by trained personnel from an HIV/AIDS community-based organisation.
Primary and secondary outcome measures The population that has taken hold of the intervention and the satisfaction of participants. Data were collected on demographics, HIV testing history, sexual practices and satisfaction with the testing programme.
Results 532 MSM were tested between February 2009 and June 2010, of whom 49 (9%) were tested two or more times. 468 MSM (88%) had casual male partners in the previous 6 months, and 152 (35%) reported having unprotected anal intercourse with risky casual partners (HIV infected or HIV serostatus unknown). 159 men (30%) had not been tested in the previous 2 years, and 50 (31%) of whom had unprotected anal intercourse with risky casual partners. Among the 15 patients who tested positive (2.8%), 12 (80%) received confirmation and were linked to care (median CD4 cell count =550/mm3). Satisfaction was high: 92% reported being ‘very satisfied’ with their experience. Steps of counselling and testing procedure were respected by testers and difficulties in handling tests were rare.
Conclusions This community-based HIV testing programme reached high-risk MSM, of whom a substantial proportion had not been tested lately. This novel service supplements pre-existing HIV testing services and increases access to HIV testing in high-risk groups.
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To cite: Champenois K, Le Gall J-M, Jacquemin C, et al. ANRS–COM'TEST: description of a community-based HIV testing intervention in non-medical settings for men who have sex with men. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000693. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000693
Contributors KC, J-MLG, SJ, CM, LR, OB, FL, BS and YY contributed substantially to conception, design and feasibility of the study. KC and J-MLG wrote the protocol of the study and coordinated the study. SJ, CM, LR and OB contributed to acquisition of data, and CJ and SV were responsible of the management of the data. KC performed the statistical analysis and presented results. All authors participated to interpretation of results. KC and YY draft the article. All authors revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published.
Funding The study was supported by the French Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS, http://www.anrs.fr). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests With the exception of YY, none of the authors report any association that might pose a conflict of interest. YY has received travel grants, honoraria for presentation at workshops and consultancy honoraria from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Glaxo-SmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Roche and Tibotec.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by French ethics committee: ‘comité de protection des personnes’ and AFSSAPS.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement There are no unpublished data to share.
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