Economic Strengthening for HIV Testing and Linkage to Care: A Review of the Evidence
Delayed HIV diagnosis and enrollment in HIV care can lead to negative health outcomes for individuals and pose major barriers to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets. Household economic strengthening (HES) initiatives are increasingly used to alleviate the direct and indirect costs of HIV testing and linkage to care for those who are diagnosed. The evidence linking HES with a range of HIV outcomes is growing, and this evidence review aimed to comprehensively synthesize the research linking 15 types of HES interventions with a range of HIV prevention and treatment outcomes. The review was conducted between November 2015 and October 2016 and consisted of an academic database search, citation tracking of relevant articles, examination of secondary references, expert consultation, and a gray literature search. Given the volume of evidence, the results are presented and discussed in three papers. This is the second paper in the series and focuses on the 20 studies on HIV testing, diagnosis, and enrollment in care. The results indicate that financial incentives are consistently and independently linked with higher testing uptake and yield among adults. Limited evidence indicates they may also be beneficial for enrollment in care. Evidence for other HES interventions is too sparse to identify clear trends.