In April 2019, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded FHI 360 the Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) project. This five-year global initiative provides strategic technical assistance and direct service delivery to achieve control of the HIV epidemic and promote self-reliant management of national HIV programs by improving HIV case finding, prevention, treatment programming and viral-load suppression.
EpiC was modified in early 2020 to include improvement of health systems’ capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2022, EpiC was modified again to respond to another public health emergency: mpox.
EpiC is led by FHI 360 with core partners Right to Care, Palladium, and Population Services International. The project also draws upon regional resource partners (Africa Capacity Alliance, ENDA Santé, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre the University of the West Indies, and VHS-YRG Care) to provide technical assistance, as well as global resource partners (the Aurum Institute, Dimagi, Johns Hopkins University’s Key Populations Program, JSI Research & Training Institute Inc., MTV, and World Vision International).
EpiC and HIV
EpiC builds on and expands the work of the Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project, funded by USAID and PEPFAR, which focused on addressing the HIV epidemic among key populations. The EpiC project partners with and strengthens the capacity of governments, civil society organizations, other PEPFAR-implementing partners and the private sector to introduce innovations and expand evidence-based HIV services to unprecedented levels of scale, coverage, quality, effectiveness and efficiency.
EpiC’s HIV objectives
- Attain and maintain control of the HIV epidemic among men, women and priority populations who have HIV or are at risk of acquiring HIV.
- Attain and maintain control of the HIV epidemic control among key populations.
- Improve program management, health information systems, human resources for health, and financing solutions to attain and maintain control of the HIV epidemic.
- Support the transition of direct funding and implementation to capable local partners to meet PEPFAR’s goal of providing 70% of its funding to local partners.
What EpiC does for key and priority populations
- Increased access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision and tuberculosis prevention services.
- Expanded HIV self-testing, index testing and network testing strategies.
- Improved treatment literacy, including undetectable and nontransmittable messages.
- Wider range of differentiated health services tailored to key populations, including violence prevention and response.
- Improved access to new high-quality antiretroviral therapy and viral-load testing services.
- Increased use of online platforms to engage previously unreached individuals and connect them to HIV services.
How EpiC bolsters local programs
- Mobilizes increased domestic, sustainable funding sources for national HIV programs.
- Provides technical assistance to local partners to help prepare them to accept direct funding.
- Helps to identify ways to capitalize on local technical and management expertise.
- Promotes unified leadership and management at all levels to control local epidemics.
- Supports the integration of HIV services into national and local government budgets.
EpiC and COVID-19
Although designed as an HIV project, EpiC has been modified to accept funding to prevent, prepare for, respond to and bolster health systems to address COVID-19. EpiC has supported COVID-19 response in 56 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America. EpiC offers technical assistance for emergency, mid-term and long-term responses. Read more about EpiC’s COVID-19 efforts.
EpiC and Mpox
In August 2022, EpiC was modified to receive funding to address mpox outbreaks. The project’s approaches include risk communication and community engagement for men who have sex with men and other people with a high risk of acquiring mpox; training and capacity strengthening for health care providers, including community-based teams; support for case investigation and contact tracing; surveillance and other strategic information support; strengthening health care systems’ and providers’ diagnostic capacity; and improving laboratory biosafety. Read more about EpiC’s mpox efforts.
Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (HIV fact sheet)
Collaboration for HIV Prevention Options to Control the Epidemic (CHOICE) (fact sheet)