Article Text

ANRS–COM'TEST: description of a community-based HIV testing intervention in non-medical settings for men who have sex with men
  1. Karen Champenois1,
  2. Jean-Marie Le Gall2,
  3. Cédric Jacquemin3,4,
  4. Sophie Jean2,
  5. Cyril Martin2,
  6. Laura Rios2,
  7. Olivier Benoit2,
  8. Stéphanie Vermoesen3,4,
  9. France Lert5,
  10. Bruno Spire2,6,7,
  11. Yazdan Yazdanpanah1,8,9
  1. 1ATIP-Avenir, Inserm U995, Lille, France
  2. 2AIDES, Pantin, France
  3. 3Inserm CIC9301, Lille, France
  4. 4CHRU de Lille, Lille, France
  5. 5Inserm U1018, Villejuif, France
  6. 6Inserm U912 (SE4S), Marseille, France
  7. 7Université Aix Marseille, IRD, UMR-S912, Marseille, France
  8. 8CH de Tourcoing, Tourcoing, France
  9. 9Université Lille—Nord de France, Lille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Champenois; karen.champenois{at}


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.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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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, 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.