Volunteer Testers Gear up to Tackle HIV in the Netherlands

In Netherlands by Fiona Ip

In an effort to reach as many community members as possible, AHF Netherlands has certified its first ever group of 10 lay (volunteer) testers that will be used to reach key affected communities that often face barriers accessing facility-based HIV testing services.

“Having lay testers from communities like MSM and migrant, which are particularly hard to reach with conventional strategies, helps us zero in on specific groups and results in detecting higher rates of HIV positivity,” said AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam Testing and Operations Manager Milo de Moraes. “Taking testing to specific communities also helps overcome such barriers as a perceived lack of confidentiality, fear of stigma, and inconvenient opening or waiting times at regular facilities.”

The program to use lay testers, alongside recent recognition of AHF’s Rapid Testing Program by governmental institutions in the Netherlands, has helped decision makers proceed with positive policy changes regarding the use of volunteer testers.

In addition to Checkpoint Amsterdam and the lay testing program, AHF Netherlands also currently offers a Pop-up Checkpoint in Rotterdam two days each month to provide accessible HIV testing to all who need it.

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