Čitaj na Hrvatskom
HIV and hepatitis C testing for young people
Check Point is a joint initiative of the City of Zagreb, Office of Health and Veterans’ Affairs, and the Croatian Association for HIV and Viral Hepatitis (CAHIV).
“Check Point Zagreb”, a centre for free, anonymous, pain-free and reliable saliva testing for HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted diseases, intended for young people, was opened on Friday in downtown Zagreb at Ulica kneza Domagoja 10 and will provide modern and innovative approach to public health, such as has been practised in EU countries for several years already.
In the first phase, the centre will enable rapid saliva HIV and hepatitis C testing outside of health care institutions, without a physician’s referral and without the need for blood drawing, while in cooperation with the Croatian Red Cross and the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases „Dr. Fran Mihaljević” it will enable counselling, psychological care, referral to relevant healthcare institutions for treatment and psychosocial support.
The space for the centre in downtown Zagreb of over 100 square meters, as well as 125000 kuna for renovation, furniture and equipment, were provided by the City of Zagreb.
The City also approved 200000 kuna for purchasing 650 HIV detection tests and 650 hepatitis C detection tests, to be used in the first phase of the project.
The second phase will include testing for other sexually transmitted diseases as well.
The newly renovated space at Ulica kneza Domagoja 10 was opened by Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić, with representatives from the Red Cross Department of Prevention, the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljević” and the Croatian Association for HIV and Viral Hepatitis (CAHIV) all attending the opening ceremony.
Check Point, a joint project of CAHIV and the City of Zagreb, is the first such centre in South-eastern Europe. Prof. Adriana Vince, manager of “Dr. Fran Mihaljević” hospital, called it an above-standard medical service.
Check Point is intended for young people, particularly for students, who feel that they may have been exposed to a risk of contracting infection.
“Young people who feel that they may have been exposed to a risk of contracting one of these serious HIV and hepatitis C infections will be able to come here and get tested in an anonymous and simple way using saliva. Not only will they be able to get tested but their test results will be processed here as well. There will be physicians from our hospital working here who will provide counselling and tell them what to do next if their test is positive” hospital manager prof. Adriana Vince explained.
Test results are 100% reliable and available in 20 minutes.
Testing for HIV and hepatitis C will be done using a completely new category of rapid and highly accurate saliva-based infection diagnostic tests.
Head of the hospital, prof. Josip Begovac, said that in as many as 50% of cases in Croatia HIV infection is detected in its later stage, and the new project of “testing in the community” is expected to contribute to earlier HIV detection.
“Close cooperation of non-governmental organizations with the hospital is ensured, as well as early treatment, necessary to prevent HIV infections that are still on a slight increase in Croatia”, said prof. Begovac.
Hepatitis is a silent killer, warned mayor Bandić while opening the centre, and called on “all citizens of Zagreb who love life and cultivate the culture of life to get informed, get tested and get protected”, after which he himself got tested as well.
Project and all services are under the supervision of the Head of the Department for serological diagnosis of hepatitis and HIV, Institute for Clinical Microbiology – Department of Virology
at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljevic” in Zagreb.
For more information about services offered, working hours and CheckPoint Zagreb in general, click HERE.
On behalf of young people and in the name of health protection and creation of a healthy generation, we would like to thank all of our partners and collaborators who made launching of this project needed by the community possible.
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