CAI continues to work closely with the DHHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA) and Office of Family Planning (OFP) on several national projects, including 1) serving for the past ten years as the OPA HIV Prevention Project Technical Support Center, providing data management services for the 80+ OPA Prevention projects throughout the country who are funded to integrate HIV counseling, testing and referral into family planning services, and 2) coordinating the annual national grantee technical support meetings.
Our direct data management activities for the current 78 funded projects include developing data collection tools and instructions; ongoing data collection, cleaning, and data analysis; submitting reports to OPA and funded projects; and providing technical support to projects regarding data reporting requirements and quality assurance issues. The grantees report their HIV testing data to CAI every 6-9 months, based on a data submission schedule specified by OPA. We then check the data for errors, work with projects to make corrections or updates where needed, and merge the data into a central database for analysis and reporting. Individual projects are provided with a summary of their own agency-specific outcomes in order to help them monitor their own progress in achieving work plan objectives. Summary reports are generated describing overall trends in key outcomes, including: the number of family planning clients tested for HIV through this grant; the percent positive by age, gender, race and ethnicity; the percentage of positive clients referred for follow-up services and linked to care within 3 months; the percentage of HIV tests performed using rapid versus standard test technology; the proportion of first time testers; and the proportion of positives who were previously unaware of their HIV status. All reports are presented and distributed at the annual technical support conference.
Data are also used to inform reports on HIV prevention activities conducted in support of the Minority AIDS Initiative and National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In the most recent funding cycle, CAI has collaborated with OPA to introduce client level data reporting as an option in place of aggregate reporting, which is the current standard. Client level data streamlines data collection and enhances the capacity of projects and OPA to analyze data for program monitoring and evaluation purposes. Projects that have successfully implemented client level data are asked to share their experiences with their peers to help promote this change.