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Tools and Strategies to Identify HIV Transmission Networks

What are HIV Time-Space Networks?

HIV Time-Space Networks are identified through the analysis of the number of reported new diagnoses of HIV in certain regional or demographic groups over a period of time. Time-Space monitoring assesses new diagnoses on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. This is to determine areas and groups experiencing a significant increase in new diagnoses. Time-Space analyses look at new diagnoses at the city level up to prosperity region level. Additionally demographic factors such as race and susceptibility to HIV acquisition are also in the analysis.

MDHHS uses standardized alerts based on the number of new diagnoses in each region and group compared to the average number in previous months, quarters, and years to identify increases in HIV diagnoses. This information helps to identify changes in transmission patterns over time. It allows for the implementation of response efforts when a significant increase is identified.

What are Partner Services and Provider/Community Networks?

Partner Services (PS) and Provider/Community Partners are essential to informing Network Detection and Response efforts. Shared HIV Networks (SHiNe) and HIV Time-Space Networks are important programs that help use data and information to identify patterns and increases in cases of HIV in communities or among specific networks, however, they do not replace or negate the importance of Partner Services and Provider/Community Partner insights in efforts to interrupt the transmission of HIV in communities.

Partner Services is a free and confidential program that helps people with HIV tell their sex and/or needle sharing partners of a possible exposure to HIV. Partner Services can help:

  • People with HIV plan and prepare what to say and provide resources that they can pass on if they want to be the one to tell their partners.
  • Facilitate having a trusted medical provider tell partners.
  • Facilitate having someone from a local health department tell partners.

Providers/Community Partners are another important source of information and knowledge related to HIV transmission patterns in communities they serve. Providers/Community Partners know their communities; they help provide essential insights and information on barriers and facilitators that impact their communities.