BCN checkpoint: three-year experience (2007-2009) of a community based centre for men who have sex with men in Barcelona shows high effectiveness in HIV detection
F. Pujol, M. Meulbroek, J. Saz, H. Taboada, J. Montilla, E. Ditzel, U. Pérez, C. Cruz
Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida, Barcelona, Spain
Issues: The HIV epidemic in Western Europe is mostly driven by MSM (ECDC, UNAIDS, WHO). In 2006 Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida implemented a Community Based Centre for MSM, BCN Checkpoint (IAS2008, TUPE0424). The three-year experience (2007-2009) has been evaluated.
Description: In Barcelona’s gay area BCN Checkpoint attended MSM in order to: 1) give peer counseling about HIV transmission and risk perception; 2) promote early HIV detection; 3) introduce rapid HIV testing. During 2007-2009 results were the following:
Year Tests performed Persons tested HIV+ results Prevalence
2007 1.098 938 37 3,9%
2008 1.272 1.162 72 6,2%
2009 2.496 2.216 113 5,1%
Total 4.866 4.316 222
Characteristics of HIV+ results in 2009: Age: 8,8% < 25 years, 52,2% between 25 and 35 years; Origin: 56,6% from Spain, 12,4% Europe, 28,3% Latin America. Nearly all HIV cases detected were referred to HIV units for clinical care. Catalonia (Spain) has 7 million inhabitants: in 2008 a total of 571 new HIV cases were reported, of which 253 were MSM (nearly 56% of all men). BCN Checkpoint, with 72 HIV cases detected, represents 28,5% of all MSM cases detected in Catalonia.
Lessons learned: Considering that in Catalonia in 2008 a total of 293.304 tests were performed (HIV prevalence: 0,85%), a Community Based Centre is able to reach the Most-At-Risk Population with a minimum of tests. Most MSM don’t access Health Centres regularly, due to lack of comprehensive primary care. Therefore this approach should be an essential part of an HIV prevention strategy.
Next steps: To carry forward our cohort study, started in 2008, of 800 HIV- MSM during three years to measure HIV incidence and the effect of peer counseling on risk reduction.
See the poster here (pdf)