The Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program's Systems Linkages and Access to Care for Populations at High Risk of HIV Infection initiative was a multi-state demonstration project and evaluation of innovative models of linkage to and retention in HIV care. The initiative funded six demonstration states for four years to design, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to integrate different components of the public health system such as surveillance, counseling and testing, and treatment to create new and effective systems of linkages and retention in care for hard-to-reach populations who have never been in care, have fallen out of care, or are at-risk for falling out of care. Populations of interest are limited to: those persons who at high risk for and/or infected with HIV but are unaware of their HIV status, are aware of their HIV infection but have never been referred to care, or are aware but have refused referral to care.
The University of California at San Francisco, the Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for this initiative, coordinated the multi-state evaluation and provided programmatic technical assistance to the Demonstration States. The Demonstration State grant recipients were Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.