Universal test and connect: brief considerations

24 September 2021

This brief was developed following a consultation with members of the UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and other key stakeholders following the results from four community trials in Africa that showed decreased HIV incidence (by approximately 20–30%) and decreased HIV-related mortality (by approximately 20%) within three years of implementing a community-wide universal test and connect programme compared with current standard care.

Universal test and connect is an intensive community-wide strategy to accelerate HIV epidemic transition to rapidly reduce new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS-related illnesses across a specific community. This brief captures the highlights of the core findings of the STAC meeting and is focused on explaining universal test and connect in clear terms, with an emphasis on what it is and isn’t and on what to consider if a country is interested in implementing the approach at the subnational level. It also highlights the implications of the current and possible future COVID-19 contexts on opportunities for universal test and connect.