• Radical Pleasure: Feminist Digital Storytelling by, with, and for Women Living with HIV

      Carter, A; Anam, F; Sanchez, M; Roche, J; Wynne, ST; Stash, J; Webster, K; Nicholson, V; Patterson, S; Kaida, A (Springer, 2020-11-24)
      Despite the fact that HIV can be controlled with medication to undetectable levels where it cannot be passed on, stigmatization of women living with HIV persists. Such stigmatization pivots on stereotypes around sex and sexism and has force in women’s lives. Our aim was to create an inspirational resource for women living with HIV regarding sex, relationships, and sexuality: www.lifeandlovewithhiv.ca (launched in July 2018). This paper describes the development and mixed-method evaluation of our first year and a half activities. We situated our work within a participatory arts-based knowledge translation planning framework and used multiple data sources (Google Analytics, stories and comments on the website, team reflections over multiple meetings) to report on interim outcomes and impacts. In our first 1.5 years, we recruited and mentored 12 women living with HIV from around the world (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, Nigeria, and the U.S.) to write their own stories, with the support of a mentor/editor, as a way of regaining control of HIV narratives and asserting their right to have pleasurable, fulfilling, and safer sexual lives. Writers published 43 stories about pleasure, orgasm, bodies, identities, trauma, resilience, dating, disclosure, self-love, and motherhood. Our social media community grew to 1600, and our website received approximately 300 visits per month, most by women (70%) and people aged 25–44 years (65%), from more than 50 cities globally, with shifts in use and demographics over time. Qualitative data indicated the power of feminist digital storytelling for opportunity, access, validation, and healing, though not without risks. We offer recommendations to others interested in using arts-based digital methods to advance social equity in sexual health.
    • Rationing antiretroviral therapy in Africa--treating too few, too late.

      Ford, N; Mills, E; Calmy, A; Medical unit, Médecins sans Frontières, and School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. (2009-04-30)
    • Reasons for loss to follow-up among mothers registered in a prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission program in rural Malawi

      Bwirire, L; Fitzgerald, M; Zachariah, R; Chikafa, V; Massaquoi, M; Moens, M; Kamoto, K; Schouten, E (Elsevier, 2008-05-16)
    • Reasons for unsatisfactory acceptance of antiretroviral treatment in the urban Kibera slum, Kenya.

      Unge, C; Johansson, A; Zachariah, R; Some, D; Van Engelgem, I; Ekstrom, A M; Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. christianunge@gmail.com (Taylor & Francis, 2008-02)
      The aim of this study was to explore why patients in the urban Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya, offered free antiretroviral treatment (ART) at the Médecins Sans Frontièrs (MSF) clinic, choose not to be treated despite signs of AIDS. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 patients, 9 men and 17 women. Six main reasons emerged for not accepting ART: a) fear of taking medication on an empty stomach due to lack of food; b) fear that side-effects associated with ART would make one more ill; c) fear of disclosure and its possible negative repercussions; d) concern for continuity of treatment and care; e) conflicting information from religious leaders and community, and seeking alternative care (e.g. traditional medicine); f) illiteracy making patients unable to understand the information given by health workers.
    • Reflections on a decade of delivering PMTCT in Khayelitsha, South Africa

      Stinson, Kathryn; Giddy, Janet; Cox, Vivian; Burton, Rosie; Ibeto, Maryirene; Cragg, Carol; Van Cutsem, Gilles; Hilderbrand, Katherine; Boulle, Andrew; Coetzee, David; et al. (Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-03-25)
    • Reframing HIV Care: Putting People at the Centre of Antiretroviral Delivery

      Duncombe, Chris; Rosenblum, Scott; Hellmann, Nicholas; Holmes, Charles; Wilkinson, Lynne; Biot, Marc; Bygrave, Helen; Hoos, David; Garnett, Geoff (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015-01-13)
      The delivery of HIV care in the initial rapid scale-up of HIV care and treatment was based on existing clinic-based models, which are common in highly resourced settings and largely undifferentiated for individual needs. A new framework for treatment based on variable intensities of care tailored to the specific needs of different groups of individuals across the cascade of care is proposed here. Service intensity is characterized by four delivery components: (1) types of services delivered, (2) location of service delivery, (3) provider of health services, and (4) frequency of health services. How these components are developed into a service delivery framework will vary across countries and populations, with the intention being to improve acceptability and care outcomes. The goal of getting more people on treatment before they become ill will necessitate innovative models of delivering both testing and care. As HIV programs expand treatment eligibility, many people entering care will not be "patients" but healthy, active and productive members of society.(1) In order to take the framework to scale, it will be important to: (1) define which individuals can be served by an alternative delivery framework; (2) strengthen health systems that support decentralization, integration and task shifting; (3) make the supply chain more robust; and (4) invest in data systems for patient tracking and for program monitoring and evaluation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    • Refused and referred-persistent stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Bihar: a qualitative study from India

      Nair, M; Kumar, P; Harshana, A; Kazmi, S; Pandey, S; Burza, S; Moreto-Planas, L (British Medical Journal BMJ, 2019-11-25)
      OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore barriers to accessing care, if any, among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in two districts of Bihar. We also aimed to assess attitudes towards PLHA among healthcare providers and community members. DESIGN: This qualitative study used an exploratory study design through thematic analysis of semistructured, in-depth interviews. SETTING: Two districts were purposively selected for the study, namely the capital Patna and a peripheral district located approximately 100 km from Patna, in order to glean insights from a diverse sample of respondents. PARTICIPANTS: Our team purposively selected 71 participants, including 35 PLHA, 10 community members and 26 healthcare providers. RESULTS: The overarching theme that evolved from these data through thematic coding identified that enacted stigma and discrimination interfere with each step in the HIV care continuum for PLHA in Bihar, India, especially outside urban areas. The five themes that contributed to these results include: perception of HIV as a dirty illness at the community level; non-consensual disclosure of HIV status; reliance on identifying PLHA to guide procedures and resistance to universal precautions; refusal to treat identified PLHA and referrals to other health centres for treatment; and inadequate knowledge and fear among health providers with respect to HIV transmission. CONCLUSIONS: The continued presence of discriminatory and stigmatising attitudes towards PLHA negatively impacts both disclosure of HIV status as well as access to care and treatment. We recognise a pressing need to improve the knowledge of HIV transmission, and implement universal precautions across all health facilities in the state, not just to reduce stigma and discrimination but also to ensure proper infection control. In order to improve treatment adherence and encourage optimal utilisation of services, it is imperative that the health system invest more in stigma reduction in Bihar and move beyond more ineffective, punitive approaches.
    • Registration problems for antiretrovirals in Africa.

      Ford, N; Darder, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Khayelitsha, 7784 South Africa. Nathan.FORD@london.msf.org (Elsevier, 2006-03-11)
    • Reimagining HIV Service Delivery: The Role Of Differentiated Care From Prevention to Suppression

      Grimsrud, A; Bygrave, H; Doherty, M; Ehrenkranz, P; Ellman, T; Ferris, R; Ford, N; Killingo, B; Mabote, L; Mansell, T; et al. (International AIDS Society, 2016-12-01)
    • Relationship Between Time to Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy and Treatment Outcomes: A Cohort Analysis of ART Eligible Adolescents in Zimbabwe

      Vogt, F; Rehman, AM; Kranzer, K; Nyathi, M; Van Griensven, J; Dixon, M; Ndebele, W; Gunguwo, H; Colebunders, R; Ndlovu, M; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2017-04-01)
      Age-specific retention challenges make antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in adolescents difficult, often requiring a lengthy preparation process. This needs to be balanced against the benefits of starting treatment quickly. The optimal time to initiation duration in adolescents is currently unknown.
    • Renal safety of a tenofovir-containing first line regimen: experience from an antiretroviral cohort in rural lesotho.

      Bygrave, Helen; Kranzer, Katharina; Hilderbrand, Katherine; Jouquet, Guillaume; Goemaere, Eric; Vlahakis, Nathalie; Triviño, Laura; Makakole, Lipontso; Ford, Nathan; Médecins Sans Frontières, Morija, Lesotho. (2011-03)
      Current guidelines contraindicate TDF use when creatinine clearance (CrCl) falls below 50 ml/min. We report prevalence of abnormal renal function at baseline and factors associated with abnormal renal function from a community cohort in Lesotho.
    • Resistance profiles after different periods of exposure to a first-line antiretroviral regimen in a Cameroonian cohort of HIV type-1-infected patients.

      Soria, A; Porten, K; Fampou-Toundji, J; Galli, L; Mougnutou, R; Buard, V; Kfutwah, A; Vessière, A; Rousset, D; Teck, R; et al. (2009-08)
      BACKGROUND: The lack of HIV type-1 (HIV-1) viral load (VL) monitoring in resource-limited settings might favour the accumulation of resistance mutations and thus hamper second-line treatment efficacy. We investigated the factors associated with resistance after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the absence of virological monitoring. METHODS: Cross-sectional VL sampling of HIV-1-infected patients receiving first-line ART (nevirapine or efavirenz plus stavudine or zidovudine plus lamivudine) was carried out; those with a detectable VL were genotyped. RESULTS: Of the 573 patients undergoing VL sampling, 84 were genotyped. The mean number of nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) mutations increased with the duration of ART exposure (P=0.02). Multivariable analysis showed that patients with a CD4+ T-cell count < or =50 cells/mm(3) at ART initiation (baseline) had a higher mean number of both NRTI and non-NRTI (NNRTI) mutations than those with a baseline CD4+ T-cell count >50 cells/mm(3) (2.10 versus 0.56; P<0.0001; and 1.65 versus 0.76; P=0.005, respectively). A baseline CD4+ T-cell count < or =50 cells/mm(3) predicted > or =1 NRTI mutation (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 7.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.20-32.14), > or =1 NNRTI mutation (AOR 4.25, 95% CI 1.36-15.48), > or =1 thymidine analogue mutation (AOR 8.45, 95% CI 2.16-40.16) and resistance to didanosine (AOR 6.36, 95% CI 1.49-32.29) and etravirine (AOR 4.72, 95% CI 1.53-15.70). CONCLUSIONS: Without VL monitoring, the risk of drug resistance increases with the duration of ART and is associated with lower CD4+ T-cell counts at ART initiation. These data might help define strategies to preserve second-line treatment options in resource-limited settings.
    • Responding to HIV Infection Associated with Drug Injecting in Eastern Europe.

      Burrows, D; Rhodes, T; Trautmann, F; Bijl, M; Stimson, G; Sarankov, Y; Ball, A; Fitch, C; Harm Reduction Training Programme, Russian Federation, Médecins Sans Frontières, Moscow, Russian Federation. (1998-12)
    • Response to Comment on "Alert, but not Alarmed" - A Comment on "Towards More Accurate HIV Testing in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Site Evaluation of HIV RDTs and Risk Factors for False Positives (Kosack et al. 2017)"

      Kosack, C; Page, A; Beelaert, G; Benson, T; Savane, A; Ng'ang'a, A; Andre, B; Zahinda, J; Shanks, L; Fransen, K (International AIDS Society, 2017-06-19)
    • Response to highly active antiretroviral therapy among severely immuno-compromised HIV-infected patients in Cambodia.

      Madec, Y; Laureillard, D; Pinoges, L; Fernandez, M; Prak, N; Ngeth, C; Moeung, S; Song, S; Balkan, S; Ferradini, L; et al. (2007-01-30)
      BACKGROUND: HAART efficacy was evaluated in a real-life setting in Phnom Penh (Médecins Sans Frontières programme) among severely immuno-compromised patients. METHODS: Factors associated with mortality and immune reconstitution were identified using Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models, respectively. RESULTS: From July 2001 to April 2005, 1735 patients initiated HAART, with median CD4 cell count of 20 (inter-quartile range, 6-78) cells/microl. Mortality at 2 years increased as the CD4 cell count at HAART initiation decreased, (4.4, 4.5, 7.5 and 24.7% in patients with CD4 cell count > 100, 51-100, 21-50 and < or = 20 cells/microl, respectively; P < 10). Cotrimoxazole and fluconazole prophylaxis were protective against mortality as long as CD4 cell counts remained < or = 200 and < or = 100 cells/microl, respectively. The proportion of patients with successful immune reconstitution (CD4 cell gain > 100 cells/microl at 6 months) was 46.3%; it was lower in patients with previous ART exposure [odds ratio (OR), 0.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.05-0.45] and patients developing a new opportunistic infection/immune reconstitution infection syndromes (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.52-0.98). Similar efficacy was found between the stavudine-lamivudine-nevirapine fixed dose combination and the combination stavudine-lamivudine-efavirenz in terms of mortality and successful immune reconstitution. No surrogate markers for CD4 cell change could be identified among total lymphocyte count, haemoglobin, weight and body mass index. CONCLUSION: Although CD4 cell count-stratified mortality rates were similar to those observed in industrialized countries for patients with CD4 cell count > 50 cells/microl, patients with CD4 cell count < or = 20 cells/microl posed a real challenge to clinicians. Widespread voluntary HIV testing and counselling should be encouraged to allow HAART initiation before the development of severe immuno-suppression.
    • Retention and attrition during the preparation phase and after start of antiretroviral treatment in Thyolo, Malawi, and Kibera, Kenya: implications for programmes?

      Zachariah, R; Tayler-Smith, K; Manzi, M; Massaquoi, M; Mwagomba, B; van Griensven, J; van Engelgem, I; Arnould, L; Schouten, E J; Chimbwandira, F M; et al. (2011-08)
      Among adults eligible for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Thyolo (rural Malawi) and Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya), this study (a) reports on retention and attrition during the preparation phase and after starting ART and (b) identifies risk factors associated with attrition. 'Retention' implies being alive and on follow-up, whilst 'attrition' implies loss to follow-up, death or stopping treatment (if on ART). There were 11,309 ART-eligible patients from Malawi and 3633 from Kenya, of whom 8421 (74%) and 2792 (77%), respectively, went through the preparation phase and started ART. In Malawi, 2649 patients (23%) were lost to attrition in the preparation phase and 2189 (26%) after starting ART. Similarly, in Kenya 546 patients (15%) were lost to attrition in the ART preparation phase and 647 (23%) while on ART. Overall programme attrition was 43% (4838/11,309) for Malawi and 33% (1193/3633) for Kenya. Restricting cohort evaluation to 'on ART' (as is usually done) underestimates overall programme attrition by 38% in Malawi and 36% in Kenya. Risk factors associated with attrition in the preparation phase included male sex, age <35 years, advanced HIV/AIDS disease and increasing malnutrition. Considerable attrition occurs during the preparation phase of ART, and programme evaluations confined to on-treatment analysis significantly underestimate attrition. This has important operational implications, which are discussed here.
    • Retention and Risk Factors for Attrition in a Large Public Health ART Program in Myanmar: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis.

      Thida, Aye; Tun, Sai Thein Than; Zaw, Sai Ko Ko; Lover, Andrew A; Cavailler, Philippe; Chunn, Jennifer; Aye, Mar Mar; Par, Par; Naing, Kyaw Win; Zan, Kaung Nyunt; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2014-09-30)
      The outcomes from an antiretroviral treatment (ART) program within the public sector in Myanmar have not been reported. This study documents retention and the risk factors for attrition in a large ART public health program in Myanmar.
    • Retention and sustained viral suppression in HIV patients transferred to community refill centres in Kinshasa, DRC

      Moudachirou, R; van Cutsem, G; Chuy, RI; Tweya, H; Senkoro, M; Mabhala, M; Zolfo, M (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2020-03-21)
      Setting: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières set up decentralised community antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill centres ("poste de distribution communautaire", PODI) for the follow-up of stable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. Objective: To assess retention in care and sustained viral suppression after transfer to three main PODI in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (PODI Barumbu/Central, PODI Binza Ozone/West and PODI Masina I/East). Design: Retrospective cohort study using routine programme data for adult HIV patients transferred from Kabinda Hospital to PODIs between January 2015 and June 2017. Results: A total of 337 patients were transferred to PODIs: 306 (91%) were on ART for at least 12 months; 118 (39%) had a routine "12-month" viral load (VL) done, 93% (n = 110) of whom had a suppressed VL <1000 copies/ml. Median time from enrolment into PODI to 12-month routine VL was 14.6 months (IQR 12.2-20.8). Kaplan-Meier estimates of retention in care at 6, 12 and 18 months after enrolment into PODIs were respectively 96%, 92% and 88%. Conclusion: Retention in care and viral suppression among patients in PODI with VL results were better than patients in clinic care and national outcomes.
    • Retention in care among clinically stable antiretroviral therapy patients following a six-monthly clinical consultation schedule: findings from a cohort study in rural Malawi

      Wringe, A; Cawley, C; Szumilin, E; Salumu, L; Amoros Quiles, I; Pasquier, E; Masiku, C; Nicholas, S (Wiley Open Access, 2018-11)
      Longer intervals between clinic consultations for clinically stable antiretroviral therapy (ART) patients may improve retention in care and reduce facility workload. We assessed long-term retention among clinically stable ART patients attending six-monthly clinical consultations (SMCC) with three-monthly fast-track drug refills, and estimated the number of consultations "saved" by this model of ART delivery in rural Malawi.
    • Retention on ART and predictors of disengagement from care in several alternative community-centred ART refill models in rural Swaziland

      Pasipamire, L; Nesbitt, RC; Ndlovu, S; Sibanda, G; Mamba, S; Lukhele, N; Pasipamire, M; Kabore, SM; Rusch, B; Ciglenecki, I; et al. (Wiley, 2018-09-21)
      A broad range of community-centred care models for patients stable on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) have been proposed by the World Health Organization to better respond to patient needs and alleviate pressure on health systems caused by rapidly growing patient numbers. Where available, often a single alternative care model is offered in addition to routine clinical care. We operationalized several community-centred ART delivery care models in one public sector setting. Here, we compare retention in care and on ART and identify predictors of disengagement with care.