Research on Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to CareNational HIV Testing Day on June 27 marks a fitting time to look at the research NIAID supports to expand HIV testing and linkage to care in the United States.
Evidence suggests that most people who learn they have HIV take steps to prevent transmitting the virus to others. But an estimated 20 percent of the 1.1 million HIV-infected people in the United States do not know they are infected, and these people inadvertently play the greatest role in spreading the virus.
The “Test, Link-to-Care plus Treat” StudyNIAID is conducting a study to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a four-step approach beginning with expanded HIV testing to curb the spread of the virus in the United States. These steps are:
- Promote frequent HIV testing in men who have sex with men and others who are at increased risk of acquiring HIV infection, and offer HIV tests in hospital emergency rooms and inpatient admissions
- Use financial incentives to influence HIV-diagnosed individuals to obtain medical care
- Use financial incentives to influence those who begin treatment to maintain low blood levels of HIV by sticking to their drug regimens
- Provide ongoing, interactive computer-based counseling to HIV-infected individuals to help them reduce their risk of transmitting the virus
Learn more about the TLC-Plus study.