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The balance of the 2020 activity

Bergamo Fast Track - the balance of the first year of activity

More than a year passed since the city of Bergamo joined the Fast Track Cities initiative – a global partnership between cities and municipalities involving now a network of over 300 cities around the world - and it's time for a first balance.

It is important to underline that there is no “Fast Track model”, but a series of local declinations and interventions with the aim of achieving locally common objectives to respond effectively to local needs and peculiarities.

Hence, the choices made by Bergamo in 4 direction: Communication, Inclusion, Information, Assistance and Services

1. Communication: the portal and social media

Online since November 29 th, 2019, the Friendly Test web-site is the information point for all initiatives, contacts, and insights about sexually transmitted diseases.
The portal has already been reached by 16,341 visitors viewing 22,861 pages
At the same time, the main social media pages (FB, Twitter, Instagram) were activated, generating 1,242 followers and 196,841 views.

2. Inclusion

Together with the Municipality of Bergamo, the Representative Council of Mayors, the ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, the ATS Bergamo, Bergamo Fast Track involved 12 different realities, active in the welfare, educational and social fields, creating important synergies in all stages of the project's development.

3. Information

Many initiatives have brought the test in different cities, both to the general population, in specific situations of marginality (drug addicts, homeless, migrants, sex workers) and in particular contexts (universities, social centres, saunas and gay clubs) by distributing informative material specifically designed to raise public awareness of the importance of HIV/HCV/syphilis testing.

  • Bergamo FTC promoted the #chivuoleconoscere Project which involved 18 institutes and over 2,000 high school students throughout the Province of Bergamo.
    During severe lockdown, more than 100 students participated in the contest related to the project, by submitting their works on HIV/AIDS theme, to spread educational messages to their peers and to the general population.
    The students’ works have become the basis for the European Testing Week and for the World AIDS Day campaigns.
  • Bergamo FTC joined the 8th edition of the European Testing Week international campaign (20-27 November 2020), aimed to encouraging partner organizations - community, health care and public institutions across Europe to increase efforts to promote testing and awareness on the benefits of early diagnosis of hepatitis C and HIV.
    Extraordinary Bergamo Check Point openings were scheduled during the European Testing Week, as well as specific information materials (leaflets, posters) were created at the same time. All initiatives and appointments were announced through portal, on the social pages. On November 18th, 2020 a Press Conference was organized also in relation with the World AIDS Day on December 1st.
  • Bergamo Fast Track actively participated in public events and scientific Conferences: at ICAR National Congress (12-16 October 2020 - the main scientific appointment in HIV and viral infections - Bergamo Fast Track submitted 4 abstracts, accepted as oral communications or posters, joined an official scientific session of the Congress and was present inside the Community Village which brought together all patient associations.

4. Assistance and services

  • In 2019 were carried out 700 tests for HIV and 208 for HCV
  • The Bergamo Check-Point (Via Moroni, 93) has been active since June 2020: it is a non-institutional place where people can receive information, support, perform quick, anonymous and free tests for HIV, hepatitis C and syphilis, but also a space for listening and welcoming. Between June and December 2020, about 600 tests have been carried out for HIV and a few less for syphilis and HCV including the European Testing Week.
  • During the lockdown the SOS drugs, a home drug service, was activated and 70 people were reached