The RUSH-Link program is a combination of an expanded testing initiative (RUSH = Routine Universal Screening of HIV) and the Linkage to Care program. It is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which is a program within the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition the Linkage to Care initiative is funded through Health Resources and Services Administration which is a program within the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (as subcontracted through Ryan White Part A to the Kansas City and City of St. Louis Health Departments). Education for medical providers is also an important part of the RUSH-Link initiative and is provided through the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Centers (MATEC-MO).
The goal of the program is to improve HIV-related health outcomes for communities of color and reduce health disparities through HIV peer education. We accomplish this by:
- Providing training and education to medical providers and staff to implement opt-out HIV testing
- Replicating successful routine HIV testing programs through customized organization assessments and work plans
- Building capacity in existing HIV testing programs or in organizations expanding their HIV testing to be routine and universal using opt-out methods (beyond counseling-and-testing-services models)
- Distributing rapid HIV testing kits (without cost for participating RUSH-Link venues) or assisting with assessing costs for the organization