HIV testing policies for migrants and ethnic minorities in EU/EFTA Member States

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BACKGROUND: In the context of an European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) research project, our objective was to describe current recommendations regarding HIV testing and counselling targeting migrants and ethnic minorities in the European Union/European Economic Area/European Free Trade Association (EU/EEA/EFTA) Member States.

METHODS: An on-line survey was conducted among 31 EU/EEA/EFTA Member States. The survey inquired on the existence of specific HIV testing and counselling recommendations or policies for migrants and/or ethnic minorities and the year of their publication. Additionally, we performed a review of national recommendations, guidelines or any other policy documents retrieved from an Internet search through the different countries' competent bodies.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine (94%) country representatives responded the survey, and 28 documents from 27 countries were identified. National guidelines on HIV testing are heterogeneous and tailored, according to the epidemiological situation. Twenty-two countries identify migrants and four countries identify ethnic minorities as particularly vulnerable to HIV. Sixteen countries explicitly recommend offering an HIV test to migrants/ethnic minorities. Guidelines especially target people originating from HIV endemic countries, and benefits of HIV early detection are highlighted. HIV testing is not mandatory in any country, but some countries overtly facilitate this practice.

CONCLUSION: Benefits of HIV testing in migrants and ethnic minorities, at both individual and community levels are recognized by many countries. In spite of this, not all countries identify the need to test these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-44
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • AIDS Serodiagnosis
  • Ethnic Groups
  • European Union/organization & administration
  • HIV Infections/diagnosis
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Transients and Migrants


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