The HIV test center is still closed at the Varese hospital


Asst Sette Laghi does not carry out anonymous and free HIV tests. To denounce the lack of prevention services in the Varese area is the ArciGay which, in a note, denounces the months ago closure of the Sexually Transmitted Infections Center in Varese.

The history of the center, heir to the MTS activated years ago by the former ASL of Varese and then transferred by competence to the hospitals with the reform, is troubled. In the passage between Ats and Asst he had encountered setbacks and postponements and only in 2018 he had resumed monitoring and control activities within the Department of Infectious Diseases. With the arrival of the pandemic and the direct involvement of the ward, all the outpatient clinics had to interrupt their services and so did the IST center. A decision that Professor Grossi, head of Infectives, said several times that he had to take reluctantly due to the health emergency, despite knowing the serious consequences for all other users of the clinics.

“Each time there is a different justification: first it was the reorganization into ATS and ASST, then the shortage of employees and now the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the rest of Italy the centers have not stopped working – declares Giovanni Boschini, president Arcigay Varese – A situation that contrasts with the need for prevention highlighted yesterday. Identifying HIV early allows you to start therapy earlier and lead a life comparable to people without HIV. Unfortunately it is a situation that has been going on for a long time because the center has been in fits and starts for at least three years and the reassurances on the reopening did not lead to anything, so we are ready to make a report to the Ministry of Health so that the service is restored and strengthened. In our country, 6 out of 10 new diagnoses are identified late and unfortunately Varese is contributing to all this. We want answers and certain dates on the reopening ».

Those who call the center’s toll-free number are directed to Como or Milan. Little news, says ArciGay, even with regard to the other center, which belongs to Asst Valle Olona .:

“Today – continues Boschini – there are many tools to fight HIV, such as PrEP, which consists of administering antiretroviral therapy to people without HIV and preventing the possibility, together with a condom, of contracting the infection. A service that includes special tests and an infectious disease specialist available. In Lombardy it is available in Bergamo, Monza and Milan, but not in Varese. Or the PEP, post exposure prophylaxis which is administered urgently to the Emergency room to people who have had risky intercourse. The association has received reports that people who go to the emergency room in the evening are sent back for lack of an infectious disease specialist, but the guidelines say that the therapy should be given urgently within 4 hours “.

The tests, in truth, can also be done in other affiliated centers but yesu prescription from the attending physician, so without the guarantee of anonymity which has always been an extra motivation to take the test. Furthermore, no less important detail, a positive result, withdrawn in solitude, without the support of a dedicated path or center it can create problems and fear. Today, medicine has developed drugs that make it possible to make the disease chronic. However, the promptness in identifying new infections is decisive, while those who come to the hospital often show symptoms of an advanced state of the disease. Most of the new infections refer to the homosexual community while that of drug addiction has almost disappeared. The average age of new infections ranges from 25 to 30 years but is getting lower.


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