CLAHRC research has Europe-wide impact

Dr Werner Leber, an East London GP with a passion for driving earlier identification and diagnosis of HIV, has seen his work recognised by the European agency responsible for the continent’s defences against infectious disease – the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Dr Leber (above) is a practising GP in Tower Hamlets as well as being an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care. His work with the CLAHRC, based at the Queen Mary University of London, aims to improve the identification and management of people with HIV.

Werner’s research among East London’s GP practices will now have a Europe-wide impact after being highlighted as good practice by the ECDC in its first integrated European hepatitis B virus (HBV) hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV testing guidance. The trial is summarised on page 71 of the guidance.

“The results support the hypothesis that an education programme promoting rapid HIV testing in general practice leads to increased and earlier HIV diagnosis.”

Public health guidance on HIV, hepatitis B and C testing in the EU/EEA;
An integrated approach
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2018

The project consortium and a panel of experts highlighted work published by Dr Leber and his team – Promotion of rapid testing for HIV in primary care (RHIVA2): a cluster-randomised controlled trial as a case study to support the published evidence and advice for implementation for the new guidance.

Read the RHIVA2 case study as a stand-alone document.

In this trial in Hackney, general practices were randomly assigned to offer either opt-out rapid HIV testing to newly registering adults or continuing usual care. The study found that promotion of opt-out rapid testing in general practice led to an increased rate of diagnosis, and might increase early detection, of HIV.

In developing the guidance the ECDC looked for excellent examples of HBV, HCV and HIV testing services across EU/EEA Member States, reviewing the latest evidence and putting out two published calls for submissions of good practice.

Promotion of rapid testing for HIV in primary care (RHIVA2): a cluster-randomised controlled trial
Lancet HIV. 2015 Jun;2(6):e229-35. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(15)00059-4. Epub 2015 Apr 28.
Leber W, McMullen H, Anderson J, Marlin N, Santos AC, Bremner S, Boomla K, Kerry S, Millett D, Mguni S, Creighton S, Figueroa J, Ashcroft R, Hart G, Delpech V, Brown A,
Rooney G, Sampson M, Martineau A, Terris-Prestholt F, Griffiths C