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: Routine opt-out provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) remains underutilized in sub-Saharan Africa. By selectively targeting clients who either volunteer or have clinical indications of HIV disease, standard approaches to HIV counseling and testing are presumed more cost-efficient than PITC. One thousand two hundred twenty-one patients aged 15– 49 years were seen by 22 practitioners in a mobile clinic in southern Zambia. A random sample of physicians was assigned to administer PITC, whereas the remaining practitioners offered standard non- PITC (ie, voluntary or diagnostic). Questionnaires assessed patient demographics and attitudes toward HIV. HIV detection rates were stratified by referral type, demographics, and HIV-related knowledge and attitudes. HIV prevalence was 10.6%. Infection rates detected using PITC [11.1%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 8.8% to 13.5%] and standard non-PITC (10.0%; 95% CI: 7.5% to 12.5%) did not significantly differ (odds ratio = 1.01; 95% CI: 0.67 to 1.52; P = 0.95). Patients who did not request testing or demonstrate clinical indicators of HIV did not have significantly higher HIV prevalence than those who did (odds ratio = 0.83; 95% CI: 0.55 to 1.24; P = 0.36). Implementation of PITC was highly acceptable and produced a 3-fold increase in patients tested per practitioner compared with standard non-PITC (114 vs. 34 patients per practitioner, respectively). PITC detected a comparable HIV infection rate as a standard non-PITC approach among rural adults seeking primary care services. Widespread implementation of PITC may therefore lead to significantly more cases of HIV detected.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 01/2011; 56(1):e9-32. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181fdb629 · 4.39 Impact Factor