Treatment retention and care transitions during and after the scale-up of HIV care and treatment in Northern Tanzania.
ABSTRACT: Decentralization of HIV care is promoted to improve access to antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa. This study describes care transitions among HIV-infected persons in Northern Tanzania during a period of rapid decentralization of HIV care and treatment centers (CTCs) from hospitals to local health centers. Between November 2008 and June 2009, 492 HIV-infected patients in established care at two referral hospitals in Moshi, Tanzania, and 262 persons newly diagnosed with HIV were selected for participation in a prospective cohort study entitled Coping with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Clinical records and participant self-reports, collected between June and November 2012, were used to describe retention in care and transitions between CTCs during the study period. After a mean follow-up period of 3.5 years, 10% of participants had died, 9% were lost to follow-up, and 11% had moved. Of the remaining participants enrolled from CTCs, more than 90% reported at least one CTC visit during the previous six months, with 98% still in care at the CTC at which they were enrolled. Nearly three out of four newly diagnosed clients listed a referral hospital as their primary CTC. Fewer than 10% of participants ever sought care at another CTC in the study area; nearly 90% of those in care bypassed their closest CTC. Administrative data from all facilities in the study area indicate that new clients, even after the scale-up from 8 CTCs in 2006 to 21 CTCs in 2008, disproportionately selected established CTCs, and client volume at newly approved facilities was highly variable. Despite the decentralization of HIV care and treatment in this setting, many patients continue to bypass their closest CTC to seek care at established facilities. Patient preferences for decentralized HIV care, which may inform optimal resource utilization, are largely unknown and warrant further investigation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Linkage to care and treatment is an important part of efforts to accelerate HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support. It offers an opportunity for PLHIV to receive information and services in a timely manner. Clients who present late for HIV care and treatment may miss out on timely initiation of prophylaxis and ART, which may accelerate disease progression and lead to an increased rate of HIV transmission within the community. The objective of this study was to determine the factors influencing effective linkages of newly diagnosed PLHIV from the point of testing to entry in care and treatment centres (CTCs) in Tanga Region, Tanzania. METHODS:This cross-sectional study examined five clinics with a high volume of clients in each of the three districts in Tanga Region. All adults ages 18 years and above at the time of CTC enrolment, between 2010 and 2014, were eligible to participate in the study. The study engaged both secondary and primary data. To complement the secondary data, mixed methods were applied in primary data collection. Using a structured questionnaire, interviews with the sampled CTC clients while focus group discussions with healthcare providers and in-depth interviews with CTC clients. The qualitative data were analysed using a thematic analysis framework. The outcome of interest was whether a client enrolled in a CTC within three months of his or her first positive HIV test. A logistic regression model was used to determine factors associated with effective linkage of newly diagnosed HIV clients to CTC. RESULTS:A total of 16,041 adults from the three study districts were enrolled at a CTC from 2010 to 2014. A total of 1,096 clients from the sampled CTCs were recruited into the study for interview. The characteristics of these clients were representative of the larger group (16,041). The majority (72.4%) were female. More than half (52.1%) were married, and almost a quarter (21.2%) were single. The majority (59.6%) of participants completed primary education and almost half (45.1%) were subsistence farmers. The median CD4 count at enrolment was 218 (87-397) cells/mL with more than half (56.3%) having CD4 counts of less than 350 cells per millilitre (mL). Nearly all (91%) of the clients presented at a CTC within three months of receiving a positive HIV test. In a multivariate analysis, factors that remained significantly associated with early entry in CTC were level of education, CD4 count, and point of diagnosis. Participants' responses were consistent with many of the factors explained by participants to be barriers to effective linkages and referrals repeated in the FGDs and IDIs across the study sites. For instance, FGD respondent expressed that clients were worried about stigma from their relatives, which creates a delay in seeking treatment. CONCLUSION:Although the rate of early entry in care and treatment services is high, surprisingly was a marked increase in those who waited more than three months to seek treatment. To meet the target, issues such as disclosure and stigma need to be addressed.
Project description:Although several studies have evaluated one or more linkage services to improve early enrollment in HIV care in Tanzania, none have evaluated the package of linkage services recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We describe the uptake of each component of the CDC/WHO recommended package of linkage services, and early enrollment in HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation among persons with HIV who participated in a peer-delivered, linkage case management (LCM) program implemented in Bukoba, Tanzania, October 2014 -May 2017. Of 4206 participants (88% newly HIV diagnosed), most received recommended services including counseling on the importance of early enrollment in care and ART (100%); escort by foot or car to an HIV care and treatment clinic (CTC) (83%); treatment navigation at a CTC (94%); telephone support and appointment reminders (77% among clients with cellphones); and counseling on HIV-status disclosure and partner/family testing (77%), and on barriers to care (69%). During three periods with different ART-eligibility thresholds [CD4<350 (Oct 2014 -Dec 2015, n = 2233), CD4?500 (Jan 2016 -Sept 2016, n = 1221), and Test & Start (Oct 2016 -May 2017, n = 752)], 90%, 96%, and 97% of clients enrolled in HIV care, and 47%, 67%, and 86% of clients initiated ART, respectively, within three months of diagnosis. Of 463 LCM clients who participated in the last three months of the rollout of Test & Start, 91% initiated ART. Estimated per-client cost was $44 United States dollars (USD) for delivering LCM services in communities and facilities overall, and $18 USD for a facility-only model with task shifting. Well accepted by persons with HIV, peer-delivered LCM services recommended by CDC and WHO can achieve near universal early ART initiation in the Test & Start era at modest cost and should be considered for implementation in facilities and communities experiencing <90% early enrollment in ART care.
Project description:: We evaluated 1359 adults newly diagnosed with HIV in Philadelphia in 2010-2011 to determine if diagnosis site (medical clinic, inpatient setting, counseling and testing center (CTC), and correctional facility) impacted time to linkage to care (difference between date of diagnosis and first CD4/viral load). A total of 1093 patients (80%) linked to care: 86% diagnosed in medical clinics, 75% in inpatient settings, 62% in CTCs, and 44% in correctional facilities. Adjusting for other factors, diagnosis in inpatient settings, CTCs, and correctional facilities resulted in a 33% (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.77; 95% confidence interval: 0.64 to 0.92), 46% (0.56; 0.42-0.72), and 75% (0.25; 0.18-0.35) decrease in the probability of linkage compared with medical clinics, respectively.
Project description:To meet UNAIDS' 90-90-90 treatment goals, effective approaches to HIV testing services (HTSs) are urgently needed. In 2015, a cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate effectiveness and feasibility of partner notification for HTS in Tanzania. Men and women newly diagnosed with HIV were enrolled as index clients, listed sexual partners, and given options to notify and link their partners to HTS. Of 653 newly diagnosed individuals, 390 index clients were enrolled, listed 438 sexual partners, of whom 249 (56.8%) were successfully referred. Of 249 partners reaching the facilities, 96% tested for HIV, 148 (61.9%) tested HIV+ (all newly diagnosed), and 104 (70.3%) of partners testing positive were enrolled into HIV care and treatment. Results showed good acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness, as evidenced by high uptake of partner notification among newly diagnosed individuals, over half of listed partners successfully referred, and a very high positivity rate among referred sexual partners.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) assisted partner services (aPS) has been recommended as a strategy to increase HIV case finding. We evaluated factors associated with poor linkage to HIV care among newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals (index clients) and their partners after receiving aPS in Kenya. METHODS:In a cluster randomized trial conducted between 2013 and 2015, 9 facilities were randomized to immediate aPS (intervention). Linkage to care-defined as HIV clinic registration, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation were self-reported. Antiretroviral therapy was only offered to those with CD4 less than 500 during this period. We estimated linkage to care and ART initiation separately for index clients and their partners using log-binomial generalized estimating equation models with exchangeable correlation structure and robust standard errors. RESULTS:Overall, 550 index clients and 621 sex partners enrolled, of whom 46% (284 of 621) were HIV-positive. Of the 284, 264 (93%) sex partners returned at 6 weeks: 120 newly diagnosed and 144 whom had known HIV-positive status. Among the 120 newly diagnosed, only 69% (83) linked to care at 6 weeks, whereas among the 18 known HIV-positive sex partners not already in care at baseline, 61% (11) linked. Newly diagnosed HIV-positive sex partners who were younger and single were less likely to link to care (P < 0.05 for all). CONCLUSION:Only two thirds of newly diagnosed, and known HIV-positive sex partners not in care linked to care after receiving aPS. The HIV aPS programs should optimize HIV care for newly diagnosed HIV-positive sex partners, especially those who are younger and single.
Project description:Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) has been available free of charge in Tanga, Tanzania since 2005. However we have found that a high percentage of women referred from prevention of mother-to-child transmission services to the Care and Treatment Clinics (CTC) for HAART never registered at the CTCs. Few studies have focused on the motivating and deterring factors to presenting for HAART particularly in relation to women. This study seeks to remedy this gap in knowledge.A qualitative approach using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions was chosen to understand these issues as perceived and interpreted by HIV infected women themselves.The main deterrent to presenting for treatment appears to be fear of stigmatization including fear of ostracism from the community, divorce and financial distress. Participants indicated that individual counselling and interaction with other people living with HIV encourages women, who are disinclined to present for HAART, to do so, and that placing the entrance to the CTC so as to provide discrete access increases the accessibility of the clinic.Combating stigma in the community, although it is essential, will take time. Therefore necessary steps towards encouraging HIV infected women to seek treatment include reducing self-stigma, assisting them to form empowering relationships and to gain financial independence and emphasis by example of the beneficial effect of treatment for themselves and for their children. Furthermore ensuring a discrete location of the CTC can increase its perceived accessibility.
Project description:To diagnose ?90% HIV-infected residents (diagnostic coverage), the Bukoba Combination Prevention Evaluation (BCPE) implemented provider-initiated (PITC), home- (HBHTC), and venue-based (VBHTC) HIV testing and counseling (HTC) intervention in Bukoba Municipal Council, a mixed urban and rural lake zone community of 150,000 residents in Tanzania. This paper describes the methods, outcomes, and incremental costs of these HTC interventions. PITC was implemented in outpatient department clinics in all eight public and three faith-based health facilities. In clinics, lay counselors routinely screened and referred eligible patients for HIV testing conducted by HTC-dedicated healthcare workers. In all 14 wards, community teams offered HTC to eligible persons encountered at 31,293 home visits and at 79 male- and youth-frequented venues. HTC was recommended for persons who were not in HIV care or had not tested in the prior 90 days. BCPE conducted 133,695 HIV tests during the 2.5 year intervention (PITC: 88,813, 66%; HBHTC: 27,407, 21%; VBHTC: 17,475, 13%). Compared with other strategies, PITC conducted proportionally more tests among females (65%), and VBHTC conducted proportionally more tests among males (69%) and young-adults aged 15-24 years (42%). Of 5,550 (4.2% of all tests) HIV-positive tests, 4,143 (75%) clients were newly HIV diagnosed, including 1,583 males and 881 young adults aged 15-24 years. Of HIV tests conducted 3.7%, 1.8%, and 2.1% of PITC, HBHTC, and VBHTC clients, respectively, were newly HIV diagnosed; PITC accounted for 79% of all new diagnoses. Cost per test (per new diagnosis) was $4.55 ($123.66), $6.45 ($354.44), and $7.98 ($372.67) for PITC, HBHTC, and VBHTC, respectively. In a task-shifting analysis in which lay counselors replaced healthcare workers, estimated costs per test (per new diagnosis) would have been $3.06 ($83.15), $ 4.81 ($264.04), and $5.45 ($254.52), for PITC, HBHTC, and VBHTC, respectively. BCPE models reached different target groups, including men and young adults, two groups with consistently low coverage. Implementation of multiple models is likely necessary to achieve ?90% diagnostic coverage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) carry independent prognostic information in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) on different lines of therapy. Moreover, CTC clusters are suggested to add prognostic information to CTC enumeration alone but their significance is unknown in patients with newly diagnosed MBC. We aimed to evaluate whether longitudinal enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and CTC clusters could improve prognostication and monitoring of patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) starting first-line therapy. METHODS:This prospective study included 156 women with newly diagnosed MBC. CTCs and CTC clusters were detected using CellSearch technology at baseline (BL) and after 1, 3, and 6 months of systemic therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) and the secondary end point overall survival (OS). Median follow-up time was 25 (7-69) months. RESULTS:There were 79 (52%) and 30 (20%) patients with ??5 CTCs and???1 CTC cluster at baseline, respectively; both factors were significantly associated with impaired survival. Landmark analyses based on follow-up measurements revealed increasing prognostic hazard ratios for ??5 CTCs and CTC clusters during treatment, predicting worse PFS and OS. Both factors added value to a prognostic model based on clinicopathological variables at all time points and ??5 CTCs and presence of CTC clusters enhanced the model's C-index to >?0.80 at 1, 3, and 6 months. Importantly, changes in CTCs during treatment were significantly correlated with survival and patients with a decline from ??5 CTCs at BL to <?5 CTCs at 1 month had a similar odds ratio for progression to patients with <?5 CTCs at BL and 1 month. Stratification of patients based on CTC count and CTC clusters into four groups (0 CTCs, 1-4 CTCs, ??5 CTCs, and ??1 CTC?+?CTC clusters) demonstrated that patients with CTC clusters had significantly worse survival compared to patients without clusters. CONCLUSIONS:Longitudinal evaluation of CTC and CTC clusters improves prognostication and monitoring in patients with MBC starting first-line systemic therapy. The prognostic value increases over time, suggesting that changes in CTC count are clinically relevant. The presence of CTC clusters adds significant prognostic value to CTC enumeration alone. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT01322893 . Registered on 25 March 2011.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The consequences of decentralizing prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission and HIV-exposed infant services to antenatal care (ANC)/labor and delivery (L&D) sites from dedicated HIV care and treatment (C&T) centers remain unknown, particularly in low prevalence settings. METHODS:In a cohort of mother-infant pairs, we compared delivery of routine services at ANC/L&D and C&T facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo from 2010-2013, using methods accounting for competing risks (eg, death). Women could opt to receive interventions at 90 decentralized ANC/L&D sites, or 2 affiliated C&T centers. Additionally, we assessed decentralization's population-level impacts by comparing proportions of women and infants receiving interventions before (2009-2010) and after (2011-2013) decentralization. RESULTS:Among newly HIV-diagnosed women (N = 1482), the 14-week cumulative incidence of receiving the package of CD4 testing and zidovudine or antiretroviral therapy was less at ANC/L&D [66%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 63% to 69%] than at C&T (88%; 95% CI: 83% to 92%) sites (subdistribution hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI: 0.55 to 0.69). Delivery of cotrimoxazole and DNA polymerase chain reaction testing to HIV-exposed infants (N = 1182) was inferior at ANC/L&D sites (subdistribution hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.92); the 10-month cumulative incidence of the package at ANC/L&D sites was 89% (95% CI: 82% to 93%) versus 97% (95% CI: 93% to 99%) at C&T centers. Receipt of the pregnancy (20% of 1518, to 64% of 1405) and infant (16%-31%) packages improved post decentralization. CONCLUSIONS:Services were delivered less efficiently at ANC/L&D sites than C&T centers. Although access improved with decentralization, its potential cannot be realized without sufficient and sustained support.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The integration of family planning (FP) and HIV-related services is common in sub-Saharan Africa. Little research has examined how FP quality of care differs between integrated and non-integrated facilities. Using nationally representative data from Malawi and Tanzania, we examined how HIV integration was associated with FP quality of care. METHODS:Data were drawn from Service Provision Assessments (SPAs) from Malawi (2013-2014) and Tanzania (2014-2015). The analytic sample was restricted to lower-level facilities in Malawi (n = 305) and Tanzania (n = 750) that offered FP services. We matched SPA measures to FP quality of care indicators in the Quick Investigation of Quality (QIQ). We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses of 22 QIQ indicators to examine how integration status was related to individual QIQ indicators and overall FP quality of care at the facility- and client-level. RESULTS:The prevalence of HIV integration in Malawi (39%) and Tanzania (38%) was similar. Integration of HIV services was significantly associated (p < 0.05) with QIQ indicators in Malawi (n = 3) and Tanzania (n = 4). Except for one negative association in Tanzania, all other associations were positive. At the facility-level, HIV integration was associated with increased odds of being at or above the median in FP quality of care in Malawi (adjusted odd ratio (OR) = 2.24; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.32, 3.79) and Tanzania (adjusted OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.37, 3.22). At the client-level, HIV integration was not associated with FP quality of care in either country. CONCLUSION:Based on samples in Malawi and Tanzania, HIV integration appears to be beneficially associated with FP quality of care. Using a spectrum of FP quality of care indicators, we found little evidence to support concerns that HIV integration may strain facilities and providers, and adversely impact quality outcomes. Rather, it appears to strengthen FP service delivery by increasing the likelihood of stocked FP commodities and achievement of other facility-level quality indicators, potentially through HIV-related supply chains. Further research is needed to assess FP quality of care outcomes across the various platforms of FP integration found in sub-Saharan Africa.