• 'I saw it as a second chance': A qualitative exploration of experiences of treatment failure and regimen change among people living with HIV on second- and third-line antiretroviral therapy in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique

      Burns, R; Borges, J; Blasco, P; Vandenbulcke, A; Mukui, I; Magalasi, D; Molfino, L; Manuel, R; Schramm, B; Wringe, A (Taylor & Francis, 2019-01-11)
      Increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy and transitioning onto second-line regimens. However, there is a dearth of research on their treatment experiences. We conducted in-depth interviews with 43 PLHIV on second- or third-line antiretroviral therapy and 15 HIV health workers in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique to explore patients' and health workers' perspectives on these transitions. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Data were coded inductively and analysed thematically. In all settings, experiences of treatment failure and associated episodes of ill-health disrupted daily social and economic activities, and recalled earlier fears of dying from HIV. Transitioning onto more effective regimens often represented a second (or third) chance to (re-)engage with HIV care, with patients prioritising their health over other aspects of their lives. However, many patients struggled to maintain these transformations, particularly when faced with persistent social challenges to pill-taking, alongside the burden of more complex regimens and an inability to mobilise sufficient resources to accommodate change. Efforts to identify treatment failure and support regimen change must account for these patients' unique illness and treatment histories, and interventions should incorporate tailored counselling and social and economic support. Abbreviations: ART: Antiretroviral therapy; HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus; IDI: In-depth interview; MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières; PLHIV: People living with HIV.
    • "I take my pills every day, but then it goes up, goes down. I don't know what's going on": Perceptions of HIV virological failure in a rural context in Mozambique. A qualitative research study.

      Pulido Tarquino, IA; Venables, E; de Amaral Fidelis, JM; Giuliani, R; Decroo, T (Public Library of Science, 2019-06-17)
      BACKGROUND: HIV prevalence in Mozambique is estimated to be 13.2%. Routine viral load for HIV monitoring was first implemented in the rural area of Tete in 2014. Programmatic data showed an unexpected high proportion of high viral load results, with up to 40% of patients having a viral load above 1000 copies/ml. OBJECTIVES: This qualitative study aimed to explore perceptions about virological failure and viral load monitoring from the perspective of HIV positive patients on first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) and health-care workers. METHODS: The study was conducted in seven rural communities in Changara-Marara district, Tete province, Mozambique. A total of 91 participants took part in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs), including health-care workers (n = 18), patients on ART in individual care or Community Adherence Groups (CAGs) who experienced virological failure and virological re-suppression (n = 39) and CAG focal points (n = 34). Purposive sampling was used to select participants. Interviews and FGDs were conducted in Nhuengue and Portuguese. IDIs and FGDs were translated and transcribed before being coded and thematically analysed. RESULTS: Emergent themes showed that patients and health-care workers attributed great importance to viral load monitoring. A supressed viral load was viewed by participants as a predictor of good health and good adherence. However, some patients were confused and appeared distressed when confronted with virological failure. Viral load results were often little understood, especially when virological failure was detected despite good adherence. Inadequate explanations of causes of virological failure, delayed follow-up viral load results, repeated blood tests and lack of access to second-line ART resulted in reduced confidence in the effectiveness of ART, challenged the patient-provider relationship and disempowered patients and providers. CONCLUSION: In this rural context undetectable viral load is recognized as a predictor of good health by people living with HIV and health-care workers. However, a lack of knowledge and health system barriers caused different responses in patients and health-care workers. Adapted counselling strategies, accelerated viral load follow-up and second-line ART initiation in patients with virological failure need to be prioritized.
    • Idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia with cryptococcal meningitis: first case report from Cambodia.

      Augusto, E; Raguenaud, M E; Kim, C; Mony, M; Isaakidis, P; Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia MSFB-Phnom-Penh-Med@brussels.msf.org. (2009-07)
      We report on a patient with cryptococcal meningitis with CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia and no evidence of HIV infection.
    • Immunovirological outcomes and resistance patterns at 4 years of antiretroviral therapy use in HIV-infected patients in Cambodia

      Pujades-Rodríguez, Mar; Schramm, Birgit; Som, Leakena; Nerrienet, Eric; Narom, Prak; Chanchhaya, Ngeth; Ferradini, Laurent; Balkan, Suna; Epicentre, Paris, France; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; HIV⁄Hepatitis Laboratory, Pasteur Institute, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Khmero-Sovietic Friendship Hospital, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Paris, France (2011-02-01)
      Objectives  To report immunovirological outcomes and resistance patterns in adults treated with triple combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for 4 years in an HIV programme of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Methods  It is a longitudinal study and cross-sectional evaluation of adults receiving cART for 4 years. CD4 cell counts and HIV-1 RNA were quantified, and resistance patterns were determined. Drug-related toxicity was assessed by clinicians and through laboratory testing. Results  After 4 years of cART start, the cumulative probability of retention in care was 0.80 and survival among patients not lost to follow-up was 0.85. A total of 349 patients (98% of eligible) participated in the cross-sectional evaluation. Ninety per cent were receiving first-line therapy, 29% stavudine- and 58% zidovudine-containing regimens (compared with 94% and 3% at cART initiation). Ninety-three per cent of patients were clinically asymptomatic, and severe lipodystrophy and dyslipidemia were diagnosed in 7.2% and 4.0%, respectively. Good treatment adherence was reported by 83% of patients. Median CD4 T-cell count was 410 cells/μl [IQR 290-511], and 90% of patients had >200 cells/μl. Only 15 (4%) patients had detectable HIV viral load (eight had <200 CD4 cells/μl), five had thymidine analogue mutations, and nine were resistant to two drug classes. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 26.1% (95% CI 22.0-30.5) of patients had failed first-line therapy. Conclusions  In this Cambodian cohort of adults who started cART at an advanced stage of HIV disease, we observed good clinical and immunovirological outcomes and self-reported treatment adherence at 4 years of therapy.
    • Immunovirological response to combined antiretroviral therapy and drug resistance patterns in children: 1- and 2-year outcomes in rural Uganda.

      Ahoua, Laurence; Guenther, Gunar; Rouzioux, Christine; Pinoges, Loretxu; Anguzu, Paul; Taburet, Anne-Marie; Balkan, Suna; Olson, David M; Olaro, Charles; Pujades-Rodríguez, Mar; et al. (BioMed Central, 2011-07-26)
      Children living with HIV continue to be in urgent need of combined antiretroviral therapy (ART). Strategies to scale up and improve pediatric HIV care in resource-poor regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, require further research from these settings. We describe treatment outcomes in children treated in rural Uganda after 1 and 2 years of ART start.
    • Impact and programmatic implications of routine viral load monitoring in Swaziland

      Jobanputra, Kiran; Parker, Lucy Anne; Azih, Charles; Okello, Velephi; Maphalala, Gugu; Jouquet, Guillaume; Kerschberger, Bernhard; Mekeidje, Calorine; Cyr, Joanne; Mafikudze, Arnold; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014-05-28)
      To assess the programmatic quality (coverage of testing, counselling and retesting), cost, and outcomes (viral suppression, treatment decisions), of routine viral load (VL) monitoring in Swaziland.
    • Impact of "test and treat" recommendations on eligibility for antiretroviral treatment: Cross sectional population survey data from three high HIV prevalence countries.

      Chihana, ML; Huerga, H; Van Cutsem, G; Ellman, T; Wanjala, S; Masiku, C; Szumilin, E; Etard, JF; Davies, M; Maman, D (PLOS, 2018-01-01)
      Background Latest WHO guidelines recommend starting HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy treatment (ART) regardless of CD4 count. We assessed additional impact of adopting new WHO guidelines. Methods We used data of individuals aged 15–59 years from three HIV population surveys conducted in 2012 (Kenya) and 2013 (Malawi and South Africa). Individuals were interviewed at home followed by rapid HIV and CD4 testing if tested HIV-positive. HIV-positive individuals were classified as “eligible for ART” if (i) had ever been initiated on ART or (ii) were not yet on ART but met the criteria for starting ART based on country’s guidelines at the time of the survey (Kenya–CD4< = 350 cells/μl and WHO Stage 3 or 4 disease, Malawi as for Kenya plus lifelong ART for all pregnant and breastfeeding women, South Africa as for Kenya plus ART for pregnant and breastfeeding women until cessation of breastfeeding). Findings Of 18,991 individuals who tested, 4,113 (21.7%) were HIV-positive. Using country’s ART eligibility guidelines at the time of the survey, the proportion of HIV-infected individuals eligible for ART was 60.0% (95% CI: 57.2–62.7) (Kenya), 73.4% (70.8–75.8) (South Africa) and 80.1% (77.3–82.6) (Malawi). Applying WHO 2013 guidelines (eligibility at CD4< = 500 and Option B+ for pregnant and breastfeeding women), the proportions eligible were 82.0% (79.8–84.1) (Kenya), 83.7% (81.5–85.6) (South Africa) and 87.6% (85.0–89.8) (Malawi). Adopting “test and treat” would mean a further 18.0% HIV-positive individuals (Kenya), 16.3% (South Africa) and 12.4% (Malawi) would become eligible. In all countries, about 20% of adolescents (aged 15–19 years), became eligible for ART moving from WHO 2013 to “test and treat” while no differences by sex were observed. Conclusion Countries that have already implemented 2013 WHO recommendations, the burden of implementing “test and treat” would be small. Youth friendly programmes to help adolescents access and adhere to treatment will be needed. Go to: Introduction HIV remains one of the biggest contributors to mortality and morbidity in the world with most deaths occurring in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)[1]. Despite freely available treatment for HIV/AIDS over the past decade, only (66.0%) of people living with HIV in eastern and southern part of SSA were on treatment in 2017 [2]. The World Health Organisation (WHO) 2013 treatment guidelines for starting HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) were CD4< = 500 cells/μl and for pregnant women to commence ART regardless of CD4 cell count [3]. In 2015 the WHO guidelines changed to starting every HIV-positive person on ART regardless of CD4 cell count[4] (the so-called “test and treat” approach) although some countries have not yet implemented these recommendations. With only half the population of HIV-positive individuals on treatment, containing the spread of HIV remains a challenge with only small declines in incidence[5]. However, more evidence is becoming available on the benefits of undetectable viral load and early ART initiation on mortality and morbidity[6–8] and on lowering the risk of transmission[9–13], bringing hope on how further spreading of the disease can be contained through a “test and treat” approach. However, adopting the new WHO guidelines may have challenges such as costs associated with more people on ART, infrastructure, human resources and how to monitor everyone started on ART to ensure that they adhere to medication[4]. This makes it difficult for countries to transition if they do not know what to expect if they move to test and treat. To plan properly for transitioning to the new WHO guidelines, countries need to know the number, proportion, age and sex distribution of the additional HIV-positive individuals that will need to start ART. Most studies on the impact of change in ART guidelines on eligibility have been based on mathematical modeling [14, 15] which can easily over or underestimate results depending on the model assumptions. Other studies however, have used population data, for example in Kenya, a study that estimated the impact of change in treatment guidelines using nationally representative Kenya AIDS indicator survey data fell short of measuring the differential impact of the new WHO guidelines on age and sex[16]. Our aim therefore, was to measure the impact of a “test and treat” policy on eligibility, stratified by sex and age, using population data from three countries (Kenya, Malawi and South Africa) at different stages of implementing previous WHO guidelines.
    • Impact of HIV on the Severity of Buruli Ulcer Disease: Results of a Retrospective Study in Cameroon

      Christinet, Vanessa; Rossel, Ludovic; Serafini, Micaela; Delhumeau, Cecile; Odermatt, Peter; Ciaffi, Laura; Nomo, Alain-Bertrand; Nkemenang, Patrick; Antierens, Annick; Comte, Eric; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2014-04-26)
      Background: Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most common mycobacterial disease after tuberculosis and leprosy and is particularly frequent in rural West and Central Africa. However, the impact of HIV infection on BU severity and prevalence remains unclear. Methods: This was a retrospective study of data collected at the Akonolinga district hospital, Cameroon, from 1 January 2002 to 27 March 2013. HIV prevalence among BU patients was compared to regional HIV prevalence. Baseline characteristics of BU patients were compared between HIV-negative and HIV-positive patients, and according to CD4 cell count strata in the latter group. BU time-to-healing was assessed in different CD4 count strata and factors associated with BU main lesion size at baseline were identified. Results: HIV prevalence among BU patients was significantly higher than the regional estimated prevalence in each group (children, 4.00% vs 0.68% [P < .001]; men, 17.0% vs 4.7% [P < .001]; women, 36.0% vs 8.0% [P < .001]). HIV-positive individuals had a more severe form of BU with an increased severity in those with a higher level of immunosuppression. Low CD4 cell count was significantly associated with a larger main lesion size (beta-coefficient, -0.50; P = .015; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.91 – 0.10). BU time-to-healing was more than double in patients with a CD4 cell count below 500 cell/mm3 (hazard ratio, 2.39; P = .001, 95% CI, 1.44 - 3.98). Conclusion: HIV-positive patients are at higher risk for BU. HIV-induced immunosuppression appears to have an impact on BU clinical presentation and disease evolution.
    • Impact of HIV-Associated Conditions on Mortality in People Commencing Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Resource Limited Settings

      Marshall, Catherine S; Curtis, Andrea J; Spelman, Tim; O'Brien, Daniel P; Greig, Jane; Shanks, Leslie; du Cros, Philipp; Casas, Esther C; da Fonseca, Marcio Silveira; Athan, Eugene; et al. (PLoS, 2013-07)
      To identify associations between specific WHO stage 3 and 4 conditions diagnosed after ART initiation and all cause mortality for patients in resource-limited settings (RLS). DESIGN, SETTING: Analysis of routine program data collected prospectively from 25 programs in eight countries between 2002 and 2010.
    • The impact of lay counselors on HIV testing rates: Quasi-experimental evidence from lay counselor redeployment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

      Hu, J; Geldsetzer, P; Steele, SJ; Matthews, P; Ortblad, K; Solomon, T; Shroufi, A; van Cutsem, G; Tanser, F; Wyke, S; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2018-06-14)
      This study aimed to determine the causal effect of the number of lay counselors employed at a primary care clinic in rural South Africa on the number of clinic-based HIV tests performed.
    • Impact of point-of-care CD4 testing on linkage to HIV care: a systematic review

      Wynberg, Elke; Cooke, Graham; Shroufi, Amir; Reid, Steven D; Ford, Nathan (International AIDS Society, 2014-01-20)
      Introduction: Point-of-care testing for CD4 cell count is considered a promising way of reducing the time to eligibility assessment for antiretroviral therapy (ART) and of increasing retention in care prior to treatment initiation. In this review, we assess the available evidence on the patient and programme impact of point-of-care CD4 testing. Methods: We searched nine databases and two conference sites (up until 26 October 2013) for studies reporting patient and programme outcomes following the introduction of point-of-care CD4 testing. Where appropriate, results were pooled using random-effects methods. Results: Fifteen studies, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, were included for review, providing evidence for adults, adolescents, children and pregnant women. Compared to conventional laboratory-based testing, point-of-care CD4 testing increased the likelihood of having CD4 measured [odds ratio (OR) 4.1, 95% CI 3.5-4.9, n=2] and receiving a CD4 result (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5-5.6, n=6). Time to being tested was significantly reduced, by a median of nine days; time from CD4 testing to receiving the result was reduced by as much as 17 days. Evidence for increased treatment initiation was mixed. Discussion: The results of this review suggest that point-of-care CD4 testing can increase retention in care prior to starting treatment and can also reduce time to eligibility assessment, which may result in more eligible patients being initiated on ART.
    • Impact of the implementation of new guidelines on the management of patients with HIV infection at an advanced HIV clinic in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

      Mangana, F; Massaquoi, L D; Moudachirou, R; Harrison, R; Kaluangila, T; Mucinya, G; Ntabugi, N; van Cutsem, G; Burton, R; Isaakidis, P (BMC, 2020-10-07)
      Background: HIV continues to be the main determinant morbidity with high mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a high number of patients being late presenters with advanced HIV. Clinical management of advanced HIV patients is thus complex and requires strict adherence to updated, empirical and simplified guidelines. The current study investigated the impact of the implementation of a new clinical guideline on the management of advanced HIV in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Methods: A retrospective analysis of routine clinical data of advanced HIV patients was conducted for the periods; February 2016 to March 2017, before implementation of new guidelines, and November 2017 to July 2018, after the implementation of new guidelines. Eligible patients were patients with CD4 < 200 cell/μl and presenting with at least 1 of 4 opportunistic infections. Patient files were reviewed by a medical doctor and a committee of 3 other doctors for congruence. Statistical significance was set at 0.05%. Results: Two hundred four and Two hundred thirty-one patients were eligible for inclusion before and after the implementation of new guidelines respectively. Sex and age distributions were similar for both periods, and median CD4 were 36 & 52 cell/μl, before and after the new guidelines implementation, respectively. 40.7% of patients had at least 1 missed/incorrect diagnosis before the new guidelines compared to 30% after new guidelines, p < 0.05. Clinical diagnosis for TB and toxoplasmosis were also much improved after the implementation of new guidelines. In addition, only 63% of patients had CD4 count test results before the new guidelines compared to 99% of patients after new guidelines. Death odds after the implementation of new guidelines were significantly lower than before new guidelines in a multivariate regression model that included patients CD4 count and 10 other covariates, p < 0.05. Conclusions: Simplification and implementation of a new and improved HIV clinical guideline coupled with the installation of laboratory equipment and point of care tests potentially helped reduce incorrect diagnosis and improve clinical outcomes of patients with advanced HIV. Regulating authorities should consider developing simplified versions of guidelines followed by the provision of basic diagnostic equipment to health centers.
    • Impact of variability in adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy on the immunovirological response and mortality

      Boussari, Olayidé; Subtil, Fabien; Genolini, Christophe; Bastard, Mathieu; Iwaz, Jean; Fonton, Noël; Etard, Jean-François; Ecochard, René (BioMed Central (Springer Science), 2015-02-05)
      Several previous studies have shown relationships between adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the viral load, the CD4 cell count, or mortality. However, the impact of variability in adherence to ART on the immunovirological response does not seem to have been investigated yet.
    • Impact on ART initiation of point-of-care CD4 testing at HIV diagnosis among HIV-positive youth in Khayelitsha, South Africa

      Patten, Gabriela E M; Wilkinson, Lynne; Conradie, Karien; Isaakidis, Petros; Harries, Anthony D; Edginton, Mary E; De Azevedo, Virginia; van Cutsem, Gilles; MSF Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. gem.patten@gmail.com (2013-07-04)
      Despite the rapid expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes in developing countries, pre-treatment losses from care remain a challenge to improving access to treatment. Youth and adolescents have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group, at greater risk of loss from both pre-ART and ART care. Point-of-care (POC) CD4 testing has shown promising results in improving linkage to ART care. In Khayelitsha township, South Africa, POC CD4 testing was implemented at a clinic designated for youth aged 12-25 years. We assessed whether there was an associated reduction in attrition between HIV testing, assessment for eligibility and ART initiation.
    • Implementation and operational feasibility of SAMBA I HIV‐1 semi‐quantitative viral load testing at the point‐of‐care in rural settings in Malawi and Uganda

      Gueguen, M; Nicholas, S; Poulet, E; Schramm, B; Szumilin, E; Wolters, L; Wapling, J; Ajule, E; Rakesh, A; Mwenda, R; et al. (Wiley, 2020-11-07)
      Objective We monitored a large‐scale implementation of the Simple Amplification‐Based Assay semi‐quantitative viral load test for HIV‐1 version I (SAMBA I Viral Load = SAMBA I VL) within Médecins Sans Frontières’ HIV programmes in Malawi and Uganda, to assess its performance and operational feasibility. Methods Descriptive analysis of routine programme data between August 2013 and December 2016. The dataset included samples collected for VL monitoring and tested using SAMBA I VL in five HIV clinics in Malawi (four peripheral health centres and one district hospital), and one HIV clinic in a regional referral hospital in Uganda. SAMBA I VL was used for VL testing in patients who had been receiving ART for between 6 months and ten years, to determine whether plasma VL was above or below 1000 copies/mL of HIV‐1, reflecting ART failure or efficacy. Randomly selected samples were quantified with commercial VL assays. SAMBA I instruments and test performance, site throughput, and delays in communicating results to clinicians and patients were monitored. Results Between August 2013 and December 2016 a total of 60 889 patient samples were analysed with SAMBA I VL. Overall, 0.23% of initial SAMBA I VL results were invalid; this was reduced to 0.04% after repeating the test once. Global test failure, including instrument failure, was 1.34%. Concordance with reference quantitative testing of VL was 2620/2727, 96.0% (1338/1382, 96.8% in Malawi; 1282/1345, 95.3% in Uganda). For Chiradzulu peripheral health centres and Arua Hospital HIV clinic, where testing was performed on‐site, same‐day results were communicated to clinicians for between 91% and 97% of samples. Same‐day clinical review was obtained for 84.7% across the whole set of samples tested. Conclusions SAMBA I VL testing is feasible for monitoring cohorts of 1000 to 5000 ART‐experienced patients. Same‐day results can be used to inform rapid clinical decision‐making at rural and remote health facilities, potentially reducing time available for development of resistance and conceivably helping to reduce morbidity and mortality.
    • Implementation and Operational Research: Feasibility of Using Tuberculin Skin Test Screening for Initiation of 36-Month Isoniazid Preventive Therapy in HIV-Infected Patients in Resource-Constrained Settings

      Huerga, H; Mueller, Y; Ferlazzo, G; Mpala, Q; Bevilacqua, P; Vasquez, B; Noël Mekiedje, C; Ouattara, A; Mchunu, G; Weyenga, HO; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016-04-01)
      The tuberculin skin test (TST) can be used to identify HIV-infected people who would benefit the most from long-term isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT). However, in resource-constrained settings, implementation of the TST can be challenging. The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility of implementing the TST for IPT initiation and to estimate the proportion of TST-positive incidence among HIV-positive patients in 2 high tuberculosis and HIV burden settings.
    • Implementation and outcomes of an active defaulter tracing system for HIV, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and TB patients in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.

      Thomson, Kerry A; Cheti, Erastus O; Reid, Tony; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Centre Brussels, PO BOX 38897 Postal Code 00623, Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya. (2011-06)
      Retention of patients in long term care and adherence to treatment regimens are a constant challenge for HIV, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and TB programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. This study describes the implementation and outcomes of an active defaulter tracing system used to reduce loss to follow-up (LTFU) among HIV, PMTCT, TB, and HIV/TB co-infected patients receiving treatment at three Médecins Sans Frontières clinics in the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. Patients are routinely contacted by a social worker via telephone, in-person visit, or both very soon after they miss an appointment. Patient outcomes identified through 1066 tracing activities conducted between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 included: 59.4% returned to the clinic, 9.0% unable to return to clinic, 6.3% died, 4.7% refused to return to clinic, 4.5% went to a different clinic, and 0.8% were hospitalized. Fifteen percent of patients identified for tracing could not be contacted. LTFU among all HIV patients decreased from 21.2% in 2006 to 11.5% in 2009. An active defaulter tracing system is feasible in a resource poor setting, solicits feedback from patients, retains a mobile population of patients in care, and reduces LTFU among HIV, PMTCT, and TB patients.
    • Implementation of a comprehensive program including psycho-social and treatment literacy activities to improve adherence to HIV care and treatment for a pediatric population in Kenya.

      Van Winghem, J; Telfer, B; Reid, T; Ouko, J; Mutunga, A; Jama, Z; Vakil, S; Operational Cell Belgium, Médecins Sans Frontières, Nairobi, Kenya. vwjoelle@gmail.com (2008-12)
      BACKGROUND: To achieve good clinical outcomes with HAART, patient adherence to treatment and care is a key factor. Since the literature on how to care for pediatric HIV patients is limited, we describe here adherence interventions implemented in our comprehensive care program in a resource-limited setting in Kenya. METHODS: We based our program on factors reported to influence adherence to HIV care and treatment. We describe, in detail, our program with respect to how we adapted our clinical settings, implemented psycho-social support activities for children and their caregivers and developed treatment literacy for children and teenagers living with HIV/AIDS. RESULTS: This paper focused on the details of the program, with the treatment outcomes as secondary. However, our program appeared to have been effective; for 648 children under 15 years of age who were started on HAART, the Kaplan-Meier mortality survival estimate was 95.27% (95%CI 93.16-96.74) at 12 months after the time of initiation of HAART. CONCLUSION: Our model of pediatric HIV/AIDS care, focused on a child-centered approach with inclusion of caregivers and extended family, addressed the main factors influencing treatment adherence. It appeared to produce good results and is replicable in resource-limited settings.
    • Implementation of community and facility-based HIV self-testing under routine conditions in southern Eswatini

      Pasipamire, L; Nesbitt, R; Dube, L; Mabena, E; Nzima, M; Dlamini, M; Rugongo, N; Maphalala, N; Obulutsa, TA; Ciglenecki, I; et al. (Wiley, 2020-03-27)
      OBJECTIVES: WHO recommends HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an additional approach to HIV testing services. The study describes the strategies used during phase-in of HIVST under routine conditions in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). METHODS: Between May 2017 and January 2018, assisted and unassisted oral HIVST was offered at HIV testing services (HTS) sites to people aged ≥ 16 years. Additional support tools were available, including a telephone hotline answered 24/7, HIVST demonstration videos and printed educational information about HIV prevention and care services. Demographic characteristics of HIVST users were described and compared with standard blood-based HTS in the community. HIVST results were monitored with follow-up phone calls and the hotline. RESULTS: During the 9-month period, 1895 people accessed HIVST and 2415 HIVST kits were distributed. More people accessed HIVST kits in the community (n = 1365, 72.0%) than at health facilities (n = 530, 28.0%). The proportion of males and median age among those accessing HIVST and standard HTS in the community were similar (49.3%, 29 years HIVST vs. 48.7%, 27 years standard HTS). In total, 34 (3.9%) reactive results were reported from 938 people with known HIVST results; 32.4% were males, and median age was 30 years (interquartile range 25-36). Twenty-one (62%) patients were known to have received confirmatory blood-based HTS; of these, 20 (95%) had concordant reactive results and 19 (95%) were linked to HIV care at a clinic. CONCLUSION: Integration of HIVST into existing HIV facility- and community-based testing strategies in Eswatini was found to be feasible, and HIVST has been adopted by national testing bodies in Eswatini.
    • Implementing a tenofovir-based first-line regimen in rural Lesotho: clinical outcomes and toxicities after two years.

      Bygrave, Helen; Ford, Nathan; van Cutsem, Gilles; Hilderbrand, Katherine; Jouquet, Guillaume; Goemaere, Eric; Vlahakis, Nathalie; Triviño, Laura; Makakole, Lipontso; Kranzer, Katharina; et al. (2011-03)
      The latest World Health Organization guidelines recommend replacing stavudine with tenofovir or zidovudine in first-line antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings. We report on outcomes and toxicities among patients on these different regimens in a routine treatment cohort in Lesotho.