Linking the Community to the Facility: Strengthening Services for People Living with HIV through Community Counselors in Angola
HFA works in support of the Government of Angola’s strategic plan to accelerate early HIV diagnosis and linkage to care through implementation of the Busca Activa Consentida Através do Caso Indice (BACCI) or index case testing and tracing (ICTT). ICTT is an effective approach that increases the early identification of people living with HIV to ensure timely enrollment in HIV care and treatment services and improve coverage of counseling and referral to prevention services among HIV-negative contacts.
To optimize this approach, contact with index cases in their communities was maintained through community counselors. Frequent home visits by community counselors help to ensure a deep understanding of the context in which newly diagnosed patients live, the tailoring of services and counseling to their specific needs, and the development of trust with patients, ultimately resulting in cases and contacts agreeing to initiate antiretroviral treatment at health facilities.