“Treat and Test”: PLHIV Network Testing for Accelerated Epidemic Control
As we expand and sustain HIV treatment access, engaging key populations living with HIV (KP PLHIV) in HIV testing referrals is a critical priority for epidemic control. The LINKAGES project promotes two models of KP PLHIV partner and network referral that emphasize voluntariness, confidentiality, and safety in a “treat and test” approach to expanding HIV testing and treatment linkages. The Voluntary Partner Referral model supports clients in voluntary contact elicitation, referral, and testing, and has demonstrated average case-finding rates of 36% in the Dominican Republic. The Risk-Network Referral model offers KP PLHIV broader options for physical and virtual coupon-based chain-referrals without contact elicitation. Preliminary implementation among KP PLHIV in Thailand resulted in an almost four-fold case detection increase per individual tested versus other KP referrals.