Results of a Social Network Testing Intervention for HIV in Infectious Disease Clinics
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Social networks can be leveraged to identify undiagnosed HIV-infected individuals. The NC-LINK clinic-based testing initiative utilized these networks to achieve a 5% (95% CI 1.1–8.9%) positivity rate by providing free HIV testing to anyone who accompanied an HIV-infected patient to their clinic appointment. During 2013–2015, 120 individuals were tested at two clinics (N > 1000 patients each) in North Carolina, with 5 new and 6 total positive results. Of these, three linked to care within 30 days and all within 365 days. If expanded further, this initiative could significantly increase the number of HIV-infected individuals aware of their status.
KeywordsHIV Clinic-based testing Social networks Newly diagnosed
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Systems Linkages for Access to Care Initiative (H97HA22695) and support did not include nongovernmental sources. This information, content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. None of the authors have conflicts of interest to report. This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Boards of the participating institutions.
All authors have contributed to the manuscript work, analysis, writing or editing and accept responsibility for publication. The authors also acknowledge the clinic staff, providers, and patients for their invaluable contributions to this research.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have conflicts of interest to report.
Research Involving Animal Rights
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Research Involving Human Rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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