Index testing, including partner notification services (PNS), is a key strategy to identify and support those most at risk of acquiring HIV: sexual contacts, needle-sharing partners, and biological children of newly diagnosed HIV+ individuals. Its implementation is critical to controlling the HIV epidemic and meeting the UNAIDS target that 95% of people living with HIV will know their status. Evidence from Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique has demonstrated PNS is feasible, safe, and highly effective.[2-6] Additional data suggest PNS improves HIV prevention uptake, linkage to treatment, and sustained engagement in HIV care.[7-9] In December 2016, the World Health Organization issued guidelines recommending that PNS “be offered as part of a comprehensive package of testing and care offered to persons with HIV.” PEPFAR has since supported efforts to bring PNS to scale across supported countries.
I-TECH and the University of Washington have extensive experience in index testing research and programming including direct service delivery; quality improvement; training; policy and guideline development; and monitoring and evaluation. I-TECH promotes evidence-based index testing and counseling strategies focused on reaching recent sexual contacts and all biological children, placing them at the forefront of HIV case identification programs to reach epidemic control.
- Golden M, et al. Partner notification for sexually transmitted infections including HIV infection: an evidence-based assessment. Sexually transmitted diseases. 4th edn. McGraw-Hill; New York, NY: 2007.
- Brown LB, et al. HIV partner notification is effective and feasible in sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities for HIV treatment and prevention. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Apr 15;56(5):437-42.
- Henley C, et al. Scale-up and case-finding effectiveness of an HIV partner services program in Cameroon: an innovative HIV prevention intervention for developing countries. Sex Transm Dis. 2013 Dec;40(12):909-14.
- Rosenberg NE, et al. Recruiting male partners for couple HIV testing and counselling in Malawi’s option B+ programme: an unblinded randomised controlled trial. Lancet HIV. 2015 Nov;2(11):e483-91.
- Myers RS, et al. Acceptability and Effectiveness of Assisted Human Immunodeficiency Virus Partner Services in Mozambique: Results From a Pilot Program in a Public, Urban Clinic. Sex Transm Dis. 2016 Nov;43(11):690-695.
- Cherutich P, et al. Assisted partner services for HIV in Kenya: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet HIV. 2017 Feb;4(2):e74-e82.
- Myer L, et al. Family matters: Co-enrollment of family members into care is associated with improved outcomes for HIV-infected women initiating antiretroviral therapy. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 Dec 1;67 Suppl 4:S243-9.
- Vreeman RC, et al. Disclosure of HIV status to children in resource-limited settings: a systematic review. J Int AIDS Soc. 2013 May 27;16:18466.
- Walcott MM, et al. Facilitating HIV status disclosure for pregnant women and partners in rural Kenya: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health. 2013 Dec 2;13:1115.
- World Health Organization. Guidelines on HIV Self-Testing and Partner Notification. 2016.