A Novel Approach to Realizing Routine HIV Screening and Enhancing Linkage to Care in the United States: Protocol of the FOCUS Program and Early Results
Background: The United States health care system remains far from implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation of routine human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening as part of health care for adults. Although consensus for the importance of screening has grown, innovations in implementing routine screening are still lacking. HIV on the Frontlines of Communities in the United States (FOCUS) was launched in 2010 to provide an environment for testing innovative approaches to routine HIV screening and linkage to care.
Objective: The strategy of the FOCUS program was to develop models that maximize the use of information systems, fully integrate HIV screening into clinical practice, transform basic perceptions about routine HIV screening, and capitalize on emerging technologies in health care settings and laboratories.
Methods: In 10 of the most highly impacted cities, the FOCUS program supports 153 partnerships to increase routine HIV screening in clinical and community settings.
Results: From program launch in 2010 through October 2013, the partnerships have resulted in a total of 799,573 HIV tests and 0.68% (5425/799,573) tested positive.
Conclusions: The FOCUS program is a unique model that will identify best practices for HIV screening and linkage to care.