Scaling Up Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Contacts of Index Patients - 20 Countries, 2016-2018

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 May 31;68(21):474-477. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6821a2.


In 2017, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that worldwide, 36.9 million persons were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the virus infection that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Among persons with HIV infection, approximately 75% were aware of their HIV status, leaving 9.4 million persons with undiagnosed infection (1). Index testing, also known as partner notification or contact tracing, is an effective case-finding strategy that targets the exposed contacts of HIV-positive persons for HIV testing services. This report summarizes data from HIV tests using index testing in 20 countries supported by CDC through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) during October 1, 2016-March 31, 2018. During this 18-month period, 1,700,998 HIV tests with 99,201 (5.8%) positive results were reported using index testing. The positivity rate for index testing was 9.8% among persons aged ≥15 years and 1.5% among persons aged <15 years. During the reporting period, HIV positivity increased 64% among persons aged ≥15 years (from 7.6% to 12.5%) and 67% among persons aged <15 years (from 1.2% to 2.0%). Expanding index testing services could help increase the number of persons with HIV infection who know their status, are initiated onto antiretroviral treatment, and consequently reduce the number of persons who can transmit the virus.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Middle Aged
  • Vietnam / epidemiology
  • Young Adult