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Factors associated with HIV status awareness and Linkage to Care following home based testing in rural Malawi.

Factors associated with HIV status awareness and Linkage to Care following home based testing in rural Malawi.
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Maman D, Ben-Farhat J, Chilima B, Masiku C, Salumu L, Ford N, Mendiharat P, Szumilin E, Masson S, Etard JF,


Maman D, Ben-Farhat J, Chilima B, Masiku C, Salumu L, Ford N, Mendiharat P, Szumilin E, Masson S, Etard JF, (click to view)

Maman D, Ben-Farhat J, Chilima B, Masiku C, Salumu L, Ford N, Mendiharat P, Szumilin E, Masson S, Etard JF,

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Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH 2016 Oct 7() doi 10.1111/tmi.12772

Abstract
OBJECTIVE
HIV diagnosis and linkage to care are the main barriers in Africa to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. We assessed HIV-positive status awareness and linkage to care among survey participants in Chiradzulu District, Malawi.

METHOD
Nested cohort study within a population-based survey of persons aged 15-59 years between February and May 2013. Participants were interviewed and tested for HIV (and CD4 if found HIV-positive) in their homes. Multivariable regression was used to determine factors associated with HIV-positive status awareness prior to the survey and subsequent linkage to care.

RESULTS
Of 8277 individuals eligible for the survey, 7270 (87.8%) participated and were tested for HIV. The overall HIV prevalence was 17.0%. Among HIV-positive participants, 77.0% knew their status and 72.8% were in care. Women (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 6.5, 95% CI 3.2-13.1) and older participants (40-59 vs. 15-29 years, aOR 10.1, 95% CI 4.0-25.9) were more likely to be aware of their positive status. Of those newly diagnosed, 47.5% were linked to care within 3 months. Linkage to care was higher among older participants (40-59 vs. 15-29, adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 3.39, 95% CI 1.83-6.26), women (aHR 1.73, 95% CI 1.12-2.67) and those eligible for ART (aHR 1.61, 95% CI 1.03-2.52).

CONCLUSIONS
In settings with high levels of HIV awareness, home-based testing remains an efficient strategy to diagnose and link to care. Men were less likely to be diagnosed, and when diagnosed to link to care, underscoring the need for a gender focus in order to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.

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