CheckPoint center was the first non-institutional center for counselling and rapid testing on HIV and HCV in Croatia. It was opened in 2013 as project of the CAHIV association in partnership with the City of Zagreb, i.e. the City Office for Health with financial support according to City of Zagreb health strategy of investments in the health of its citizens as an excellent synergies between the institutional health system and the community, the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljević" of the Ministry of Health.
Short description of practice change implemented
CheckPoint Zagreb is valuable addition to the existing network of 10 VCT centers in Croatia collaborating with the National Institute of Public Health and University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljevic”.
Those with a positive test result are referred to the University Hospital for Infectious Disease “Dr Fran Mihaljević” for diagnostic confirmation, linked to care and given information on the benefit of partner notification (including anonymous options) by counsellors and two licensed psychologists specialized in psychosocial support for people with HIV and STI.
CheckPoint centre aims are to increase the number of voluntary testing for people at increased risk of infection, who are hard to reach and are not responding to testing in healthcare settings, to reduce the proportion of late diagnosis, to increase the number of undiagnosed HIV/HCV-positive persons who are nor in care and to influence on reducing risk behaviours and prevention by counselling and education.
Target population and stakeholders
The target population include the general public, school and college-aged populations, persons infected or at increased risk of HIV/HCV infection. Operational protocols for testing and counselling services have been designed in collaboration with experts from the University Hospital for Infectious Disease “Dr Fran Mihaljević” in Zagreb. Standard operating procedures have been implemented in accordance with Croatian legislation and CDC, ECDC and WHO guidelines.
The number of new cases of HIV and HCV infection discovered in users of Checkpoint represents about a fifth of all newly discovered cases in Croatia per year
Comment on sustainability
CheckPoint is included as key priority in network health services development in the City of Zagreb as part of the Social Plan for the City of Zagreb 2014–2020. CheckPoint is also recognized as part of the registry of valorized programmes of the Croatian Healthy Cities Network, which aims to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of current national programmes and develop recommendations and guidelines for further improvements in policy and public health activity.
The center provides healthcare counselling and education for youth (HIV, HCV, HBV, STIs, HPV vaccination, etc.), testing and early detection of HIV and HCV, linkage to care and early treatment. Counsellors from CAHIV and medical professionals deliver services.
Caring for patients as the strategic direction of the association in the form of patient organization primarily represents the integration and development of civil society in the public sector.