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Phakama Digest December 2020

​​​​​Health Systems Trust is pleased to announce the release of the fourth edition of the Phakama Digest, which profiles the work of the SA SURE Project. This December 2020 edition focuses on HIV index contact testing.​

Tracing and testing the partners and children of HIV-positive index patients is a key intervention for case-finding, and lays the foundation for ongoing expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) enrolment and support for sustaining viral suppression among those on treatment – which can significantly reduce HIV transmission in many settings. When COVID-19 emerged in South Africa during March 2020, the higher alert levels of lockdown posted numerous challenges for offering HIV index contact testing, but the SA SURE Project teams employed innovative practices to maintain delivery of this service – including integrating this modality into outreach services.​

We approach this topic from the following angles:

  • HIV index contact testing: what it entails and why it is important (page 2).​
  • CDC guidance for Implementing Partners on HIV index contact testing (page 4).
  • The SA SURE Project's roll-out of the service: teams, training, tools, mentoring, coaching and reporting (page 5).
  • Voices from the ground – six implementers share their experiences (page 10).
  • A view from CDC South Africa – insights on sustaining HIV index contact testing in the context of COVID-19, and the important goal of ART enrolment and viral suppression (page 13).

For access to the full Digest, go to: Phakama Digest.pdf​