In 2018, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation partnered with researchers at UCSF to implement a study called “Test and Be Treated,” in which any client of the Foundation that was newly diagnosed with HIV would be immediately offered antiretroviral therapy, accompanied by counseling, education, and referrals to resources for mental heath, housing, and substance use treatment. After years of running the study, UCSF researchers wanted to explore patterns related to recency of HIV infection at the time of diagnosis, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study’s principal investigator reached out to Facente Consulting to help shape the HIV recency analysis, including leading the design and execution of the analysis plan and producing a high-quality manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. This work followed an iterative approach to development, allowing opportunities for feedback from the study team to enhance accessibility, utility and impact of the findings. Unfortunately, the study size proved too small and selection bias too substantial to lead to findings suitable for a peer-reviewed journal. In the end, we prepared a final presentation briefly summarizing the findings of this analysis for Bio-Rad Laboratories, which supplied the Geenius machines used for recency assessment in the study.