Index Case Testing in Angola Contributes to Increased HIV Case Finding

Publication

In support of the government of Angola's efforts to maintain the country’s relatively low HIV prevalence, MSH, under USAID Angola’s Health For All (HFA) Project (2017–2019) helped to establish a sustainable model for providing high-quality HIV and AIDS services through the prevention, care, and treatment continuum.

To accelerate early HIV diagnosis and linkage to care, HFA supported the Government of Angola to scale up index case testing (ICT) as a key component of the continuum of care model across seven health facilities in Luanda province. The purpose of ICT is to identify the contacts of people living with HIV (PLHIV) through whom he or she may have received the HIV infection or to whom he or she may have transmitted it, including sexual partners, children, and people with whom they have been sharing needles (e.g., to inject drugs). These contacts are traced, contacted, and offered HIV testing and counseling services. The aim is to counsel and test all contacts of PLHIV for HIV and provide access to prevention, care, and antiretroviral therapy (ART), improving early identification of PLHIV and linkage to ART.

The approach proved to be a highly effective and efficient testing strategy, resulting in an increase in the number of new cases identified and a higher yield than other testing modalities. Importantly, HFA also found higher linkage and adherence to ART rates among those living with HIV identified through the approach.