The Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) method aims to improve our understanding of the drivers of local HIV epidemics, identify gaps in services available to those most likely to acquire and transmit HIV, and provide evidence to support tailored interventions to reduce transmission. Achieving this goal is a challenge because many people don’t know they have the virus, making the local pattern of new infections almost impossible to detect.
PLACE was developed by MEASURE Evaluation—a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—to meet that challenge. The first implementation manual was published in 2005. Since then, the scope of the PLACE method has been broadened. This 2019 update—expanding PLACE from a single manual to a suite of five guidance documents, templates, training slide decks, and other tools—can be used to guide PLACE studies in response to new opportunities.
The PLACE Tool Kit incorporates best practices for using new tools in testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections; new capabilities for geospatial analysis and electronic data collection; and an increased urgency to find people who are unaware that they are HIV-positive and get them on treatment—particularly to find key populations and other vulnerable people who may be at increased risk of transmitting the virus to others if they are not successfully engaged in treatment.