Time2test is a research project initiated by the Public Health Service (GGD) of Amsterdam, STI Aids Netherlands and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). It is part of the PREVENT project in which free HIV self-tests are distributed through peers: people who are trained to offer the test. With this test offer, HIV infections can be detected in an earlier phase.
Although HIV is well under control in the Netherlands and the number of new diagnoses decreases, many people with HIV still receive care at a time when their immune system has already weakened.
The key question to answer is: how can we help lower the barriers to take an HIV test?
To lower this barrier, people from the target group are recruited to become a peer. These peers are asked to distribute free HIV-tests to people in their own inner circle of friends or acquaintances who have not been tested on HIV.
People who want to participate receive information from a peer coordinator. They follow an online training with sample videos about how to approach others and how the test works. After the training they receive a free test package to distribute to their social circles. It is a simple test that people can do by themselves, anonymously, in their home environment.
All data gathered is completely anonymous and only used by the GGD for research on how to lower the barrier to test on HIV.