1 Pallas Health Research and Consultancy B.V, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
2 The Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
3 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden.
An estimated 9 million individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) across the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), many of which are yet to be diagnosed. We performed a systematic review to identify interventions effective at improving testing offer and uptake in the EU/EEA. Original research articles published between 1st January 2008 and 1st September 2017 were retrieved from PubMed and Embase. Search strings combined terms for HBV/HCV, intervention, testing and geographic terms (EU/EEA). Out of 8331 records retrieved, 93 studies were selected. Included studies reported on testing initiatives in primary healthcare (9), hospital (12), other healthcare settings (31) and community settings (41). Testing initiatives targeted population groups such as migrants, drug users, prisoners, pregnant women and the general population. Testing targeted to populations at higher risk yielded high coverage rates in many settings. Implementation of novel testing approaches, including dried blood spot (DBS) testing, was associated with increased coverage in several settings including drug services, pharmacies, and STI clinics. Community-based testing services were effective in reaching populations at higher risk for infection, vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. In conclusion, our review identified several successful testing approaches implemented in healthcare and community settings, including testing approaches targeting groups at higher risk, community-based testing services and DBS testing. Combining a diverse set of testing opportunities within national testing strategies may lead to higher impact both in terms of testing coverage and reduction, on the undiagnosed fraction.