Cross-sectional study of community serostatus to highlight undiagnosed HIV infections with oral fluid HIV-1/2 rapid test in non-conventional settings

Maria Rita Parisi, Laura Soldini, Gianmarino Vidoni, Felice Clemente, Chiara Mabellini, Teresa Belloni, Silvia Nozza, Livia Brignolo, Silvia Negri, Stefano Rusconi, Karin Schlusnus, Fernanda Dorigatti, Adriano Lazzarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The submerged portion of undiagnosed HIV infection in Italy is about 30% of subjects found seropositive. This fact represents one of the most important public health problems hindering the control of infection progression. This means we need to fight unawareness and social stigma and promote easy and friendly access to HIV test. We developed a Prevention Program called "EASY test Project", offering a new rapid HIV test on oral fluid, to evaluate the acceptability of an alternative, free and anonymous test available in different settings (on board a "Motor Home" at public events, Points of Care, STDs outpatient prevention units and GP surgeries). From December 2008 to December 2012 we performed 7,865 HIV saliva tests, with 50 new infections found (0.6% of the total) out of 140,000 informed subjects. From the self-reported characteristics of respondents, the population approaching the EAST test project was represented by males (70%) aged between 20 and 50 years, 61% with a medium-high education level, 62% homosexuals (MSM), 88% reported unsafe sexual behaviours, and 48% had never undergone an HIV screening test. In five years of the Prevention Program, 100% of subjects interviewed gave a general favorable consent in approaching rapid and not invasive screening, immediate return of the result, and a timely specialized approach and treatment of HIV positive subjects. Results from our study confirm that the rapid and alternative test may contribute to HIV prevention strategies and to the control of the spread of infection and HIV disease progression by reaching a larger population, particularly when and where regular screening procedures are difficult to obtain or are not preferred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • HIV positive submerged people
  • HIV prevention
  • HIV screening test
  • Late HIV diagnosis
  • Saliva/oral fluid test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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