An Incentivized HIV Counseling and Testing Program Targeting Hard-to-Reach Unemployed Men in Cape Town, South Africa
ABSTRACT In Southern Africa, men access HIV counseling and testing (HCT) services less than women. Innovative strategies are needed to increase uptake of testing among men. This study assessed the effectiveness of incentivized mobile HCT in reaching unemployed men in Cape Town, South Africa.
A retrospective analysis of HCT data collected between August 2008 and August 2010 from adult men accessing clinic-based stationary and non-incentivized and incentivized mobile services. Data from these 3 services were analyzed using descriptive statistics and log-binomial regression models.
A total of 9416 first-time testers were included in the analysis as follows: 708 were clinic based, 4985 were non-incentivized, and 3723 incentivized mobile service testers. A higher HIV prevalence was observed among men accessing incentivized mobile testing [16.6% (617/3723)] compared with those attending non-incentivized mobile [5.5% (277/4985)] and clinic-based services [10.2% (72/708)]. Among men testing at the mobile service, greater proportions of men receiving incentives were self-reported first-time testers (60.1% vs. 42.0%) and had advanced disease (14.9% vs. 7.5%) compared with men testing at non-incentivized mobile services. Furthermore, compared with the non-incentivized mobile service, the incentivized service was associated with a 3-fold greater yield of newly diagnosed HIV infections. This strong association persisted in analyses adjusted for age and first-time versus repeat testing [risk ratio: 2.33 (95% confidence interval: 2.03 to 2.57); P < 0.001].
These findings suggest that incentivized mobile testing services may reach more previously untested men and significantly increase detection of HIV infection in men.
SourceAvailable from: Axel C Mühlbacher[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BackgroundHIV counseling and testing (HCT), an effective preventive strategy and an entry point for care, remains under-utilized in Tanzania. Limited uptake of HCT, despite the widespread availability of varied testing options, suggests that existing options may not align well with population preferences for testing.MethodsBetween October and December 2011, we conducted an exploratory study in the Kilimanjaro Region to develop a conceptual framework for understanding which characteristics of HIV testing are associated with preferences for testing. Forty individuals (55% women, 53% never having tested) participated in in-depth interviews and focus groups to identify factors that influence whether and where people test for HIV.ResultsA variety of discrete characteristics of testing venues, test providers, and testing procedures (e.g. distance to testing, counselor experience, type of HIV test, and availability of antiretroviral therapy) mapped conceptually to three domains: confidentiality of testing and test results, quality of HCT, and accessibility and availability of ancillary services. We noted heterogeneous preferences and demonstrate that while some test characteristics overlap and reinforce across multiple domains, others demand clients to make trade-offs between domains.ConclusionTesting decisions appear to be influenced by an array of often inter-linked factors across multiple domains, including quality, confidentiality, and accessibility; perceptions of these factors varied greatly across participants and across available testing options. HCT interventions that jointly target barriers spanning the three domains have the potential to increase uptake of HIV testing and deserve further exploration.BMC Public Health 08/2014; 14(1):838. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-838 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Studies within sub-Saharan African countries have shown that mobile services increase uptake of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services when compared to clinics and are able to access different populations, but these have included provider-initiated HCT in clinics. This study aimed to compare the characteristics of clients who self-initiated HCT at either a mobile or a clinic service in terms of demographic and socio-economic variables, also comparing reasons for accessing a particular health service provider.Methods This study took place in eight areas around Cape Town. A matched design was used with one mobile HCT service matched with one or more clinics (offering routine HCT services) within each of the eight areas. Adult clients who self-referred for an HIV test within a specified time period at either a mobile or clinic service were invited to participate in the study. Data were collected between February and April 2011 using a questionnaire. Summary statistics were calculated for each service type within a matched pair and differences of outcomes from pairs were used to calculate effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals.Results1063 participants enrolled in the study with 511 from mobile and 552 from clinic HCT services. The proportion of males accessing mobile HCT significantly exceeded that of clinic HCT (p <¿0.001). The mean age of participants attending mobile HCT was higher than clinic participants (p =¿0.023). No significant difference was found for socio-economic variables between participants, with the exception of access to own piped water (p =¿0.029). Participants who accessed mobile HCT were significantly more likely to report that they were just passing, deemed an ¿opportunistic¿ visit (p =¿0.014). Participants who accessed clinics were significantly more likely to report the service being close to home or work (p =¿0.035).Conclusions An HCT strategy incorporating a mobile HCT service, has a definite role to play in reaching those population groups who do not typically access HCT services at a clinic, especially males and those who take advantage of the opportunity to test. Mobile HCT services can complement clinic services.BMC Health Services Research 12/2014; 14(1):658. DOI:10.1186/s12913-014-0658-2 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to describe HIV-testing among men in rural Lusaka Province, Zambia, using a population-based survey for a cluster-randomized trial. Households (N = 120) were randomly selected from each of the 42 clusters, defined as a health facility catchment area. Individuals aged 15-60 years were invited to complete questionnaires regarding demographics and HIV-testing history. Men testing in the last year were defined as recent-testers. After questionnaire completion adults were offered home-based rapid HIV-testing. Of the 2,828 men, 53 % reported ever-testing and 25 % recently-testing. Factors independently associated with ever- and recent-testing included age 20+ years, secondary/higher education, being married or widowed, a history of TB-treatment and higher socioeconomic position. 53 % of never-testers and 57 % of men who did not report a recent-test accepted home-based HIV-testing. Current HIV-testing approaches are inadequate in this high prevalence setting. Alternative strategies, including self-testing, mobile- or workplace-testing, may be required to complement facility-based services.AIDS and Behavior 08/2014; 19(3). DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0866-0 · 3.49 Impact Factor