This application, Interventions to decrease HIV infectiousness in Uganda, responds to the NIH Director's Opportunity for Research (RC-4) within the Global Health theme. Novel, cost-effective strategies are needed to efficiently deliver proven HIV prevention and treatment services in Africa to have a substantial impact on population HIV incidence. We posit that HIV transmission in a community can be reduced through targeted, population-level delivery of HIV prevention and care services to HIV+ persons, through increasing knowledge of HIV+ status with associated behavior change and reducing HIV infectiousness through initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and prevention and treatment of co-infections such as malaria. Home-based HIV counseling and testing programs, HBCT, have achieved large scale knowledge of HIV serostatus. We will build on the HBCT platform (""""""""HBCT-plus"""""""") with targeted diagnostic, preventive, and treatment services for HIV+ persons and behavioral counseling to reduce HIV infectiousness, which will augment our Methods of Prevention Program Project (MP-3) research in Uganda. We will implement HBCT-plus in 5000 households in a high HIV prevalence area in Uganda with point-of-care (POC) CD4 testing to triage HIV+ persons to ART following Uganda guidelines and prevention and treatment of co-infections for all HIV+ persons. We will deliver prevention-for-positives risk-reduction counseling and discordant couples counseling to reduce risk behaviors. We will conduct quarterly follow-up visits for one year to optimize uptake of clinical interventions and to assess risk behaviors and stigma. Measures of success of HBCT-plus will be impact on: 1) community viral load (average HIV plasma viral load in the community over 12 months), a marker of population-level HIV infectiousness, and 2) HIV transmission potential, a composite measure of viral load and sexual behavior among HIV+ persons with HIV- or unknown serostatus partners, who have the greatest impact on HIV spread.
Specific Aims : 1) Demonstrate feasibility of HBCT-plus, with HIV testing, POC CD4 testing to triage HIV+ persons to care, and prevention-for-positives and discordant couples counseling, delivered to 5000 households in Uganda in one year, based on >90% uptake of testing and >80% linkage to care among HIV+ persons. 2) Measure the impact of HBCT-plus on HIV transmission risk in the community through assessment of community viral load and HIV transmission potential before and after HBCT- plus. 3) Measure disclosure to partners and family, HIV testing of partners, condom use, sexual frequency, and number of partners before and after positive prevention counseling for newly-identified HIV+ persons through HBCT-plus. 4) Evaluate the effect of HBCT-plus on community risk behaviors, attitudes about HIV testing, and stigma through a probability sample survey in the community. 5) Determine the incremental costs of HBCT and additional components in HBCT-plus for facilitated HIV care and counseling, and estimate the cost-benefit of community viral load reduction.

Public Health Relevance

HBCT-plus is a home-based HIV testing program in Uganda to increase knowledge of HIV+ status with associated behavior change, and reduce HIV infectiousness through effective linkages to antiretroviral therapy and treatment of co-infections, and assessed by reduction in community viral load and transmission potential.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Programs—Multi-Yr Funding (RC4)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-PSE-K (55))
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Chow, Grace C
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University of Washington
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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