Only half of people living with HIV know their status. To increase that proportion and achieve the first of UNAIDS' 90-90-90 goals, the World Health Organization recommends a mix of testing strategies. HIV partner notification, also known as partner services, offers HIV testing services (HTS) to the sexual partners of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV (i.e., index cases). Three main methods have been described for partner notification and HTS in sub-Saharan African settings:
- Passive referral - Index patient is encouraged to disclose to their sexual partner(s) that they have been exposed to HIV and refers them to HTS.
- Contact referral - Index patient is allowed a period of time to notify and refer sexual partners to HTS, if the partner does not report within a certain time a health care provider contacts the partner of their exposure.
- Provider referral - Health care provider contacts the sexual partners concerning their exposure and directs them to HTS. Assisted partner notification services (APS) are a key strategy in the United States and Europe to increase HIV case findings. Despite the success of APS in these regions, partner notification has not been implemented in large-scale programs in sub-Saharan African countries and knowledge is limited.
Please join AIDSFree for a webinar on April 28th, at 9 a.m. EST.
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Meet the Speakers
Marya Plotkin, MPH
Marya Plotkin is the Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Advisor at Jhpiego, with more than 14 years of experience in research and programs on public health. She has worked in maternal, and newborn health, HIV testing, HIV/AIDS health including voluntary medical male circumcision, early infant male circumcision, and cervical cancer prevention. Plotkin led the Jhpiego Tanzania office as the MER Director for 6 years. She was a Principal Investigator (PI) on three studies and a coinvestigator on an additional four studies. Plotkin was instrumental in building the national monitoring system and GIS mapping for service delivery in VMMC in Tanzania, and improving national monitoring tools for maternal and newborn health services. Plotkin was the PI on the HIV Testing Partner Notification Study presented in this webinar. She is currently working on a review of health management information systems for maternal and newborn data elements in 24 countries and is the PI on a study on preventable newborn death. She has presented at the International AIDS Conference, CROI and ICASA and published in the American Journal of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, PLOS One, Global Health: Science and Practice and BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, among others.
Peter Cherutich, MBChB, MPH, PhD
Peter Cherutich is the Deputy Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health, Kenya. Recently, he was Head of HIV Prevention at the National AIDS/STD Control Program (NASCOP). Cherutich has overseen the country’s portfolio on HIV testing, male circumcision, prevention of mother to child transmission, condom promotion and recently, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP). He has led significant policy initiatives including the introduction and scaling up of early infant diagnosis for HIV, expansion of HIV testing beyond VCT, and scaling up of male circumcision among others. He has been pivotal in NASCOPs role in reaching out and providing services to most-at-risk populations under difficult socio-political challenges. Dr. Cherutich has authored several publications in peer-reviewed journals and is Principal Investigator on two NIH-funded studies in Kenya: Test, Treat and Linkage to Care among Injecting Drugs Users and Assisted Partner Services to Augment HIV Treatment and Prevention in Kenya. Dr. Cherutich received his medical degree from the University of Nairobi and subsequently graduated with an MPH from the University of Washington. He recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Global Health (Implementation Science) from the University of Washington.
JoAnn Kuruc RN, MSN
JoAnn Kuruc is the Clinical Director for the UNC (Screening and Tracing Active Transmission) STAT Program and HIV Cure Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has more than 15 years of experience in research and programs working with the detection and diagnosis of acute HIV in North Carolina. She has worked closely with the North Carolina Division of Public Health, facilitating the rapid initiation of HIV care and treatment in those diagnosed with acute HIV infection. Ms. Kuruc helped implement and sustain the STAT Program with the NC Department of Health and Human Service over the past 14 years. She works closely with the Surveillance Department and the Disease Intervention Specialist. Ms. Kuruc recently published an article in JAIDS, Volume 71, Number 1, January 1, 2016 entitled “Ten Years of Screening and Testing for Acute HIV Infection in North Carolina.”