What is HIV Cluster Detection and Response?
Cluster Detection and Response (CDR) is a program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focused on understanding and stopping the spread of HIV. This program uses HIV laboratory data to identify groups of related HIV infections, called clusters. Identifying these groups is critical in the fight to end the HIV epidemic, because HIV spreads quickly in groups of related HIV infections. Once individuals in those groups are identified, health departments can focus HIV prevention and treatment efforts. The goals of the program are to:
- Collect HIV data from laboratories;
- Use research techniques to identify groups of related HIV infections, study HIV mutations, and describe HIV transmission patterns; and
- Quickly treat HIV in groups of related HIV infections, and stop further spread of HIV.
HIV Cluster Detection and Response – Key Things to Know:
- Importance of Identifying Related HIV Infections: Cluster detection is a relatively new approach in the fight to end the HIV epidemic. This method uses routine research techniques to identify groups of related HIV infections that are very similar. It is important to identify these groups because HIV spreads at a rate over 10 times higher in groups of related HIV infections compared to all people living with HIV.
- Laboratory Data: HIV is considered a reportable disease in Virginia, meaning that HIV laboratory data are sent to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Researchers are able to analyze that data to identify groups of related HIV infections.
- Directing Prevention and Treatment Services: Once a group of related HIV infections is identified, health department staff are able to direct prevention and treatment services where they are needed most. As a result, health department staff are able to prevent HIV from spreading in a community.
For more information on the implementation of the CDR program at VDH, please contact us.
Last updated: March 11, 2021