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Community-based HIV testing services combined with the use of point-of-care tests (POCT) have the potential to improve early diagnosis through increasing availability, accessibility and uptake of HIV testing.


To describe community-based HIV testing activity in Catalonia, Spain, from 1995 to 2018, and to evaluate the impact of HIV POCT on the HIV continuum of care.


A community-based network of voluntary counselling and testing services in Catalonia, Spain has been collecting systematic data on activity, process and results since 1995. A descriptive analysis was performed on pooled data, describing the data in terms of people tested and reactive screening test results.


Between 1995 and 2018, 125,876 HIV tests were performed (2.1% reactive). Since the introduction of HIV POCT in 2007, a large increase in the number of tests performed was observed, reaching 14,537 tests alone in 2018 (1.3% reactive). Men who have sex with men (MSM), as a proportion of all people tested, has increased greatly over time reaching 74.7% in 2018. The highest percentage of reactive tests was found in people who inject drugs followed by MSM. The contribution of community-based HIV testing to the overall total notified cases in the Catalonia HIV registry has gradually increased, reaching 37.9% in 2018, and 70% of all MSM cases. In 2018, the percentage of individuals with a reactive screening test who were linked to care was 89.0%.


Our study reinforces the important role that community-based HIV POCT has on the diagnosis of HIV in key populations.


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