SEARCH community cluster randomized study of HIV “test and treat” using multi- disease approach and streamlined care in rural Uganda and Kenya

Posted by Maria Codina on July 30, 2018 at 4:48 pm

SEARCH aims to use HIV testing and treatment to eliminate HIV and to build community health.

SEARCH (Sustainable East Africa Research in Community Health) is about using treatment to stop the spread of HIV and building community health. Our research and programs aim to guide a global effort to end AIDS. The SEARCH Consortium was established in Vienna in 2010 to conduct community-based research with global partners in health, economics and education. The SEARCH program is led by Dr. Diane Havlir, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Maya Petersen, University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and Dr. Moses Kamya, Makerere University, Uganda and is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, PEPFAR, the Ministries of Health in Kenya and Uganda, and Gilead. The WHO, UNAIDS, the Global Fund, and the World Bank are study advisors.

The SEARCH Trial: A cluster randomized community trial of the “Test-and-Treat” strategy for HIV reduction in 32 communities in rural Uganda and Kenya among over 350,000 adults and children. In the first phase of the SEARCH trial (2013-2017) we conducted mobile, community-wide health fairs offering testing for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, high blood pressure and diabetes and referrals to ministry of health centers for care. In intervention communities (16 total), all HIV-infected persons were referred to care and offered immediate HIV treatment and received clinic visit reminders and phone access to care providers to help get into and stay in care. Mobile community health fairs happened once a year in intervention communities. In control communities (16 total), all HIV-infected persons were referred to care and received HIV follow-up or treatment according to country guidelines. Community health fairs only happened at the start of the study and again three years later for control communities. Results from this study were presented at the AIDS 2018 conference held in Amsterdam.

SEARCH Future Work: SEARCH continues to work on new projects in many areas, including health and treatment models for adolescents and young adults; HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP); treatment models for tuberculosis; and novel electronic technologies for community health.

To read more about findings from the first SEARCH study, please link to the press release here. You can also check their Power point Presentation here.

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