MPact, in close consultation with it International Steering Committee and partnering advocates, has compiled a list of concerns regarding the use of Index Testing with men who have sex with men.
The U.S. PEPFAR has recently proposed aggressive increases to the utilization of index testing, also called assisted partner notification services, as a key case finding strategy. If index testing is community-led, conducted ethically and uses a client-centered and rights based approach, index testing can exhibit potential benefits. However, for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, Index testing could be harmful to their rights and well-being, since these communities are often subject to high levels of stigma, discrimination, and violence by health care providers and other duty bearers.
Additionally, with programmatic pressures by donors in being target and reach focused instead of quality packages for identifying people living with HIV, index testing can result in inappropriate and coercive service implementation.
MPact and community organisations, including the Young Queer Alliance, have addressed a Letter of Concern on Index Testing to Ambassador Birx; including proposals on how to provide quality service to gay and bisexual men and boys and other men who have sex with men.