In support of South Africa’s national HIV epidemic control strategy, JSI provided technical assistance to USAID implementing partners to strengthen index testing and conducting targeted community case finding services in the City of Johannesburg. In addition, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, JSI assisted to transition of select HIV services from health facilities to communities, an initiative of the South Africa National Department of Health.
The project had two objectives:
- Support selected USAID partners to improve index testing performance.
- Conduct targeted community case finding services.
To improve index testing performance under objective 1, JSI trained and mentored selected USAID implementing partners to ensure that index testing is being implemented with quality and efficiency. JSI provided index testing counselors and supervisory staff with the skills and tools needed to provide high-quality, client-centered index testing services. JSI technical staff supported partners to meet the recommended site quality standards, including critical elements like safeguarding confidentiality, screening for intimate partner violence, and collaborating with community monitoring platforms, among others.
In the context of COVID-19, JSI further supported USAID partners to integrate HIV self-testing into index testing, as well as to promote HIV self-testing more broadly as part of the “no touch” HIV testing approach currently recommended.
To conduct targeted community case finding services under objective 2, JSI used evidence-based strategies to support case-finding in targeted regions of the City of Johannesburg (primarily Region E). JSI community counselors implemented voluntary counseling and testing as well as index testing using assisted partner notification and HIV self-test kit distribution. Complementing HIV Care and Treatment Service Delivery for the City of Johannesburg was implemented under the Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC), a global project led by FHI360 and funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is dedicated to achieving and maintaining HIV epidemic control. JSI was a resource partner on the EpiC project.