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We assess the added value of a multisite, street-based HIV rapid testing programme by comparing its results to pre-existing services and assessing its potential to reduce ongoing transmission. Between 2008 and 2011, 8,923 individuals underwent testing. We compare outcomes with those of a network of 20 sexually transmitted infections (STI)/HIV clinics (EPI-VIH) and the Spanish National HIV Surveillance System (SNHSS); evaluate whether good visibility prompts testing and assess whether it reaches under-tested populations. 89.2% of the new infections were in men who have sex with men (MSM) vs 78.0% in EPI-VIH and 56.0% in SNHSS. 83.6% of the MSM were linked to care and 20.9% had?<350 CD4 HIV prevalence was substantially lower than in EPI-VIH. 56.5% of the HIV-positive MSM tested because they happened to see the programme, 18.4% were previously untested and 26.3% had their last test ≥2 years ago. The programme provided linkage to care and early diagnosis mainly to MSM but attendees presented a lower HIV prevalence than EPI-VIH. From a cost perspective it would benefit from being implemented in locations highly frequented by MSM. Conversely, its good visibility led to reduced periods of undiagnosed infection in a high proportion of MSM who were not testing with the recommended frequency.


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