Family-based index testing and support

A family relaxing together Frontline AIDS/Peter Caton for READY 2018

Key information

  • Organisation: Education as a Vaccine (EVA)
  • Country: Nigeria
  • Region: Western and central Africa
  • Stage of innovation: Stage 3: Pilot
  • Type of innovation: Services delivery innovation: new or different way of providing a service

Summary of intervention

AIDS remains the leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds in sub-Saharan Africa and the second most common cause of death globally. Innovative thinking on how to better engage and support young people living with HIV is needed.

EVA Nigeria has developed a model of family-based index case finding to identify adolescents living with HIV, refer them to testing and link them to HIV treatment. The model uses family support mechanisms to promote all family members’ access to, and retention in, HIV care.

Offering HIV testing to the whole family at either a clinic or at home improves the chance that children and young people with undiagnosed HIV will be identified and enrolled for treatment, care and support services. Providing family counselling also helps parents who are living with HIV disclose their status to other family members, which in turn can improve their adherence to HIV treatment and retention in care and help them support their children to adhere to treatment.

The scheme has been piloted in Benue State and Federal Capital Territory. To date, 10,740 children, partners and siblings of index cases have been reached with HIV testing services.