18 November 2021

This is the slogan of the European Testing Week campaign which kicks off on 22 November 2021.

Testing: in the face of HIV, screening is still the only way to find out whether or not a person is infected with the virus. Once in the body, HIV gradually attacks the immune system and takes several years to weaken it before symptoms appear and opportunistic diseases develop.

Treatment: Once an HIV infection has been detected, antiretroviral treatment neutralises the virus, which can no longer attack the immune system. The sooner this treatment is started, the more effective it will be, leading to a rapid decrease in the virus in body fluids.

Prevention: With treatment, the HIV load in the body is reduced to the point of becoming undetectable, which means that the amount of virus in the body is so low that it is no longer sufficient to infect one’s partner. I=I: Undetectable = untransmissible!

Screening is therefore an essential prevention tool to reduce new HIV infections, as it allows access to treatment which prevents new transmissions!

The European Screening Week is a European campaign that aims to promote HIV screening and to make people aware of the benefits of getting tested for HIV, to make them aware of the risks they may have run and to inform them of the effectiveness of treatment in case of seropositivity.

In the face of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), screening is more than ever a current prevention tool, because knowing one’s serological status not only allows the infected person to adapt his or her behaviour but also to benefit from medical care and to rapidly reach an undetectable viral load.

Today, screening can be done in 3 ways:
Screening by blood test: 6 weeks after a risk of HIV infection,
Screening by Rapid Diagnostic Test (Test Rapide d’Orientation Diagnostique – TROD): from 12 weeks after a risk of HIV infection, a method which consists of taking a drop of blood from the tip of the finger
– Self-testing: from 12 weeks after a risk of HIV infection, a method that allows the person to carry out the test at home, in complete confidentiality.

Where to get tested?

From 22/11 to 29/11 the following laboratories offer free HIV screening by blood test:
– Ketterthill
– Bionext

During the year, it is possible to have a free and anonymous blood test:
– Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS) in Dudelange
– Luxembourg Hospital Centre
– Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch

During the year, it is possible to be screened by a rapid, anonymous and free test:
HIV Berodung Croix-Rouge on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm
LGBTIQ+ Centre CIGALE on Thursdays between 12:30 and 14:30.
Sending HIV self-test: call 2755 – 4500 or email hivberodung@croix-rouge.lu