Routine HIV testing in health care settings: the deterrent factors to maximal implementation in sub-Saharan Africa.
ABSTRACT The sub-Saharan region of Africa is the most severely affected HIV/AIDS region in the world. The population of this region accounts for 67% of all people living with HIV/AIDS and 72% of all AIDS-related deaths. As international collaboration makes access to HIV treatment more widely available in this region the need to increase the population's awareness of its serostatus becomes greater. The incorporation of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (routine HIV testing model) as part of a routine medical care would not only increase the population's serostatus awareness but also lead to a better understanding of HIV prevention and treatment and ultimately, increased utilization of available HIV/AIDS prevention programs on a much larger scale. This mini-review summarizes some important regional, sociocultural, economic, legal, and ethical issues that may be deterrent factors to maximal implementation and integration of provider initiated HIV testing and counseling as part of routine medical care in the sub-Saharan African region.
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ABSTRACT: As pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) moves closer to availability in developing countries, practical considerations for implementation become important. We conducted a consultation with district-level community stakeholders experienced in HIV-prevention interventions with at-risk populations in Bondo and Rarieda, Kenya to generate locally grounded approaches to the future rollout of oral PrEP to four populations: fishermen, widows, female sex workers, and serodiscordant couples.BMC Health Services Research 05/2014; 14(1):231. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-231 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The ethical discourse about HIV testing has undergone a profound transformation in recent years. The greater availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to a global scaling up of HIV testing and counseling as a gateway to prevention, treatment and care. In response, critics raised important ethical questions, including: How do different testing policies and practices undermine or strengthen informed consent and medical confidentiality? How well do different modalities of testing provide benefits that outweigh risks of harm? To what degree do current testing policies and programs provide equitable access to HIV services? And finally, what lessons have been learned from the field about how to improve the delivery of HIV services to achieve public health objectives and protections for human rights? This article reviews the empirical evidence that has emerged to answer these questions, from four sub-Saharan African countries, namely: Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. DISCUSSION: Expanding access to treatment and prevention in these four countries has made the biomedical benefits of HIV testing increasingly clear. But serious challenges remain with regard to protecting human rights, informed consent and ensuring linkages to care. Policy makers and practitioners are grappling with difficult ethical issues, including how to protect confidentiality, how to strengthen linkages to care, and how to provide equitable access to services, especially for most at risk populations, including men who have sex with men. SUMMARY: The most salient policy questions about HIV testing in these countries no longer address whether to scale up routine PITC (and other strategies), but how. Instead, individuals, health care providers and policy makers are struggling with a host of difficult ethical questions about how to protect rights, maximize benefits, and mitigate risks in the face of resource scarcity.BMC International Health and Human Rights 01/2013; 13(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1472-698X-13-6 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To improve HIV prevention and care programs, it is important to understand the uptake of HIV testing and to identify population segments in need of increased HIV testing. This is particularly crucial in countries with concentrated HIV epidemics, where HIV prevalence continues to rise in the general population. This study analyzes determinants of HIV testing in a rural Vietnamese population in order to identify potential access barriers and areas for promoting HIV testing services. A population-based cross-sectional survey of 1874 randomly sampled adults was linked to pregnancy, migration and economic cohort data from a demographic surveillance site (DSS). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine which factors were associated with having tested for HIV. The age-adjusted prevalence of ever-testing for HIV was 7.6%; however 79% of those who reported feeling at-risk of contracting HIV had never tested. In multivariate analysis, younger age (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.14-3.01), higher economic status (aOR 3.4, 95% CI 2.21-5.22), and semi-urban residence (aOR 2.37, 95% CI 1.53-3.66) were associated with having been tested for HIV. HIV testing rates did not differ between women of reproductive age who had recently been pregnant and those who had not. We found low testing uptake (6%) among pregnant women despite an existing prevention of mother-to-child HIV testing policy, and lower-than-expected testing among persons who felt that they were at-risk of HIV. Poverty and residence in a more geographically remote location were associated with less HIV testing. In addition to current HIV testing strategies focusing on high-risk groups, we recommend targeting HIV testing in concentrated HIV epidemic settings to focus on a scaled-up provision of antenatal testing. Additional recommendations include removing financial and geographic access barriers to client-initiated testing, and encouraging provider-initiated testing of those who believe that they are at-risk of HIV.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16017. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0016017 · 3.53 Impact Factor