SOAR researchers assessed a community-based program that provided female sex workers with mobile or home-based ART services. The findings demonstrate that the community-based model can lead to higher ART initiation and retention rates, and better adherence compared to standard facility-based ART provision. As countries aim to reach the 95–95–95 targets, national HIV responses must expand their strategies to effectively provide ART services, particularly to hard-to-reach key populations.
The LINKAGES project first started working in Burundi in August 2016 to reduce HIV transmission among key populations and improve their enrollment and retention in care and treatment. Within the past three years, LINKAGES Burundi has consistently experienced high rates of linking newly diagnosed HIV-positive female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people to care and treatment. Between the first quarter of FY18 and the second quarter of FY19, the average rates for linkage to antiretroviral treatment were 98 percent among FSWs, 96 percent among MSM, and 100 percent among transgender people. This blog outlines the five “secrets” LINKAGES Burundi credits for their success.