A key tenet of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and USAID/Burma’s HIV strategy is to support the development and introduction of innovations that other actors can adopt, amplify, and scale up with other resources. In early 2016, HIV case finding at Population Services International and the Myanmar-based Targeted Outreach Project (TOP) clinics for key populations remained at 4–6 percent. Key populations included men who have sex with men, transgender women, and female sex workers.
TOP entered an “incubation period,” in which several new strategies were tested to improve HIV case finding. Case finding increased to 20 percent in 2017. The success of these approaches was called the “Enhanced Outreach” approach. Enhanced Outreach includes peer outreach, performance-based incentives and routine outreach data analysis, online outreach, identification of new hotspots, and peer accompaniment to clinics for HIV care enrolment.
The Myanmar National AIDS Program and the Global Fund adopted Enhanced Outreach and rolled it out to their implementing organizations in 2018. In 2019, PEPFAR and USAID/Burma commissioned this documentation of the Enhanced Outreach approach to understand the extent to which PEPFAR contributed to scale-up, barriers and facilitators to scaling, and lessons to apply to future PEPFAR innovations. The Enhanced Outreach approach was in the initial stages of scale-up and has potential to support effective case finding for a large proportion of men who have sex with men, transgender women, and female sex workers in the densely population areas of Yangon and Mandalay.
Findings were made under three documentation areas, along with key recommendations to support program improvement and PEPFAR’s continued contribution to innovation in Myanmar. In summary, PEPFAR’s investment in innovation in Myanmar with the Enhanced Outreach approach has greatly improved and had an impact on HIV programming for key populations. Future innovations should model the efforts of the Enhanced Outreach process.