Community based voluntary counselling and testing


The early detection of HIV and AIDS, TB, viral hepatitis, and STI cases with linkage to care and treatment services is a cornerstone in the response to the epidemics to reduce infection rates and improve the health outcomes of individuals and communities. CBVCT has proven effective to detect new HIV cases, especially in communities where access to health care services is limited. Based on the WHO’s guidelines on HIV Testing Services (HTS) and with the introduction of rapid and self-sampling testing options for HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs, CBVCT services are an essential and indispensable element of the responses to the three pandemics.

In 2017 AIDS Action Europe developed an Advocacy Tool that addressed gaps and challenges for the cross-sectoral cooperation in the field of CBVCT in Europe. This study assembles the opinions and ideas of different stakeholders who provided very diverse points of view on the subject, because as they play different roles at the national and European levels and come from different countries. Their opinions and ideas, together with some extracts of the many documents produced on the subject of CBVCT services, were used as the basis to develop recommendations which serve as an advocacy tool for improving the actual situation.

In the 2022-2026 strategic plan, AAE will continue working on CBVCT, facilitating good practice knowledge exchange, capacity building and dissemination of results and news. As part of our activities on CBVCT, AAE will continue its work with the COBATEST and EURO HIV/EDAT networks and their coordinating organisation CEEISCAT in Barcelona.

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The COBATEST Network was established in 2009 within the HIV-COBATEST project under the European Union Public Health Programme. The purpose was to share a common data collection instrument to monitor the activity of CBVCTs in Europe - to promote HIV testing, early diagnosis and linkage to care among key affected populations (such as gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and people who use drugs). In 2018-2021 the COBATEST Network has been co-funded through a Framework Partnership Agreement between AIDS Action Europe with funds from the European Commission. CEEISCAT is responsible for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the Network, and together with AIDS Action Europe is coordinating the Network. The COBATEST Network is governed by a Steering Committee


The mission of COBATEST is 

  • to promote HIV and other STI testing and linkage to care and treatment
  • to improve CBVCT services across Europe
  • to share good practices, procedures and information to improve CBVCT activities
  • to provide tools to strengthen collaborative work between professionals

COBATEST Network Transition 2018-2021

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The Transition Steering Committee served in the period 2018-2021 and worked on developing 4 main documents of the COBATEST Network:

The first Steering Committee elections of COBATEST

In 2021 first direct elections to the COBATEST Steering Committee were conducted, and the first Steering Committee of COBATEST elected directly by its members is serving their term since 1 January 2022. 

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