Background: Data to Care (D2C) is a public health strategy that uses HIV surveillance and other data to identify persons living with HIV who are "not in care" to link them to medical care or other services. To support health department implementation of D2C, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported direct technical assistance (TA) to build health department D2C capacity.
Methods: Between 2013 and 2017, 2 contracting organizations worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide intensive D2C TA to 20 US health departments. A requirement for applying for TA was the mandatory reporting of all CD4 T-lymphocyte and HIV viral load test results by laboratories to the health department's HIV surveillance system. Health department selection criteria included organizational factors; jurisdiction laws/policies about data confidentiality and sharing; and HIV morbidity level.
Results: Peer-to-peer consultation, technical consultation, training, information transfer, materials development, materials distribution, and technology transfer were methods used for delivering TA based on the health department's needs and preferences. TA supported health department progress in areas such as confidentiality and data security, stakeholder engagement, quality of HIV surveillance data, data sharing, staffing resources, creating "not-in-care" lists, and program evaluation.
Conclusion: Developing D2C programs is not a linear process, and there is no one standardized approach. Health departments made the most rapid progress when TA included peer-to-peer support among health departments. Participation in this project facilitated, in some cases for the first time, collaboration between staff across HIV surveillance, prevention, and care programs.