Treatment As Prevention Project (TASP)
The TasP trial started enrollment of participants in 2012 in the Hlabisa sub-district. It is a cluster-randomised trial comparing the impact of immediate ART initiation versus recommendations from the South Africa Department of Health guidelines on ART initiation.
In this trial both the control and the intervention arm receive home-based HIV testing. In the control arm HIV positive individuals receive ART if their CD4 cell count is < 350 cells/ml or if they have WHO clinical stage 3 or 4 disease. In this control arm the HIV-positive individuals that are not eligible for ART, receive continuous CD4 monitoring and routine care.
In the intervention arm all HIV-positive adults are offered immediate ART initiation, irrespective of their CD4 count or clinical status. The study team hypothesizes that HIV testing of all adult members of a community followed by immediate ART initiation of HIV-infected participants regardless of immunological or clinical staging will prevent onward transmission and reduce HIV incidence in this population.
30 000 dry blood spot samples and 5000 plasma samples have been collected over the past 2 years; 30% of these are samples are of HIV positive individuals and some of these samples will be analyzed as part of PANGEA_HIV.