The TRACE Initiative: Real-time data about recent infections to identify hot spots of current HIV transmission

The TRACE Initiative: Using real-time data on recent HIV infections to identify hot spots of current HIV transmission

The Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic (TRACE) project –is a new effort which will contribute to the global fight to reach HIV epidemic control.

Through TRACE, new medical and technological innovations are combining in a powerful way to help meet that goal:


  • TRACE is supporting select countries to begin implementing the use of Rapid Tests for Recent Infection (RTRI) which are capable of distinguishing between recent and long-term infections.
  • The test can be completed in 20 minutes during a routine exam


  • Powerful, accessible and easy-to-use Business Intelligence platforms are in easy reach of public health organizations.
  • The explosion in online GIS and mapping capabilities brings the ability to analyze and visualize data by geospatial attributes to the screens of more people than ever before.

With funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TRACE is being implemented with technical assistance from ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Blue Raster has been tasked with developing a dashboard and map application to visualize, analyze and track the recent infections and identify hot spots where action may be directed.

The dashboard application needs to be accessible and usable by many users in many scenarios, and after assessing multiple options, the Blue Raster and TRACE teams decided that Microsoft PowerBI alongside Esri ArcGIS Online makes the ideal combination.

Blue Raster is honored to support all efforts to reach HIV epidemic control through our work on projects like TRACE and the ICAP’s Population-based HIV Assessment (PHIA) project.

Today’s availability of extensible, easy-to-use and cost-effective online tools will equip future generations  with accurate and complete information about burden and distribution of disease and ensure that resources are efficiently allocated.

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