THE TRACE INITIATIVE
TRACE – Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic – was launched in countries nearing HIV epidemic control to establish HIV recent infection surveillance systems in routine HIV services to detect, characterize, monitor, and intervene on recent infection among newly diagnosed people living with HIV (PLHIV).
Use a rapid test for recent infection (RTRI) for recent infection to provide continuous epidemiological data on person, place, and time of newly diagnosed individuals to inform HIV prevention and control strategies. RTRIs pave the way for a HIV recent infection surveillance system as part of routine HIV testing services (HTS) to detect and characterize recent HIV infection among newly diagnosed
WHAT IS RECENCY?
Rapid tests for recent HIV infection (RTRI) can differentiate between recent (i.e. in the last 12 months) and long-term HIV infections. Recently infected individuals have high HIV viral loads and are more likely to transmit the virus to others.
Recent HIV infection tests can provide
real-time data about recent infections to identify
hot spots of current HIV transmission
News and Updates
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Quick Facts about Recent HIV Infection Testing
Key players of the TRACE Initiative include the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) TRACE Community of Practice, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), ICAP at Columbia University, and Ministries of Health and local implementing partners in each of the countries where recent HIV infection testing is being rolled out.
Persons with recent HIV infection may have a higher viral load and thus be more infectious and likely to transmit HIV. The identification of recent infection provides an opportunity to describe the HIV epidemic, identify ongoing or recent transmission, and intervene to stop further transmission.
Many countries are already starting to include HIV recency testing in their ongoing HIV surveillance activities or are conducting operational research studies to explore the use of routine recency testing in HIV testing services.