Background HIV-positive patients lost to follow-up (HP-LTFU) represent a challenge for HIV/AIDS control efforts as they are associated with higher risk of HIV transmission to their sexual partners, low viral load suppression and higher risk of morbidity and mortality than adherent patients. The SCIP-Ogumaniha programme implemented by World Vision Mozambique, has been utilising the index case approach together with systematic home-based HIV testing and counseling (hHTC) since August 2016 in 7 districts of the Zambezia province. This abstract outlines an evaluation of the contribution of this approach to HIV/AIDS care and treatment (HACT) of sexual partners of HP-LTFU in alignment with the first and second targets of the 90–90–90 UNAIDS strategy.
Methods The study involved HP-LTFU returned to HACT between October 2016 and September 2017. These patients reported to have sexual partners who had not been tested for HIV and provided informed, written consent for joint hHTC with these individuals. The hHTC package for sexual partners was offered by World Vision project counselors and those who tested HIV-positive were referred to HACT.
Results Of 7.084 patients who returned to HACT and reported to have an untested sexual partner, 63% (4,471) provided informed, written consent for joint hHTC. Of 4264 sexual partners found and tested, 52% was female, 64% was in the 15–34 age groups, and 88% had never been tested for HIV. About 28% (1.205/4.264) was HIV-positive, 56% of the sexual partners who tested HIV-positive, was female and 98% of these was successfully referred to HACT.
Conclusion The index case approach together with hHTC has contributed to the early diagnosis of 28% of new HIV infections among sexual partners of HP-LTFU and 98% of them ensured timely linkage to the HACT. Therefore, broader promotion and adoption of this approach would make a significant contribution to achievement of the first and second targets of the 90–90–90 UNAIDS strategy.
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