Innovative HIV testing and treatment intervention has big impact

Provider and patient in HIV clinic
The SEARCH study, which includes Bixby Center researchers, has consistently pioneered innovative HIV testing and treatment strategies. A new JAMA article quantifies what the cumulative impact of the SEARCH approach has been—and the results are impressive.

In just two years, rates of viral suppression, HIV diagnosis and HIV treatment improved significantly among the study’s 77,774 participants, all of whom live in rural Kenya and Uganda. At baseline, only 64.9 percent of HIV-positive participants were aware of their status and 44.7 percent had achieved viral suppression. Two years later, 95.9 percent of HIV-positive individuals had been diagnosed—and of those individuals, 93.4 percent were on ART and 89.5 percent achieved viral suppression.

Through the use of community-based and mobile strategies, SEARCH's intervention delivers HIV testing and treatment services to many people typically considered too hard to reach, whether due to physical or cultural barriers. FACES, a program of the Bixby Center and a SEARCH collaborator, is now working to scale up this approach in other rural areas of Kenya.

Read more coverage of this study on UCSF News.