Different delivery models for antiretroviral therapy to sub-Saharan Africa in the context of 'Universal Access'
ABSTRACT In 10 years, in line with the concept of universal access, 25 million HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa might be on antiretroviral therapy (ART). There are different models of ART delivery, from the individualised, medical approach to the simple, public health approach, both having distinct advantages and disadvantages. This mini-review highlights the essential components of both models and argues that, whatever the mix of different models in a country, both must be underpinned by similar core principles so that uninterrupted drug supplies, patient adherence to therapy and compliance with follow up are assured. Failure to do otherwise is to court disaster.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Travel time and distance are barriers to care for HIV-infected children in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Decentralization of care is one strategy to scale-up access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), but few programs have been evaluated. We compared outcomes for children receiving care in mobile and hospital-affiliated HIV clinics in rural Zambia. Methods: Outcomes were measured within an ongoing cohort study of HIV-infected children seeking care at Macha Hospital, Zambia from 2007 to 2012. Children in the outreach clinic group received care from the Macha HIV clinic and transferred to one of three outreach clinics. Children in the hospital-affiliated clinic group received care at Macha HIV clinic and reported Macha Hospital as the nearest healthcare facility. Results: Seventy-seven children transferred to the outreach clinics and were included in the analysis. Travel time to the outreach clinics was significantly shorter and fewer caretakers used public transportation, resulting in lower transportation costs and fewer obstacles accessing the clinic. Some caretakers and health care providers reported inferior quality of service provision at the outreach clinics. Sixty-eight children received ART at the outreach clinics and were compared to 41 children in the hospital-affiliated clinic group. At ART initiation, median age, weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and CD4(+) T-cell percentages were similar for children in the hospital-affiliated and outreach clinic groups. Children in both groups experienced similar increases in WAZ and CD4(+) T-cell percentages. Conclusions: HIV care and treatment can be effectively delivered to HIV-infected children at rural health centers through mobile ART teams, removing potential barriers to uptake and retention. Outreach teams should be supported to increase access to HIV care and treatment in rural areas.PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104884. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104884 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although there is widespread interest in understanding how models of care for delivering antiretroviral therapy (ART) may influence patient outcomes, family-focused approaches have received little attention. In particular, there have been few investigations of whether the co-enrollment of HIV-infected family members may improve adult ART outcomes over time. We examined the association between co-enrollment of HIV-infected family members into care and outcomes of women initiating ART in 12 HIV care and treatment programs across sub-Saharan Africa. Using data from the mother-to-child transmission-(MTCT) Plus Initiative, women starting ART were categorized according to the co-enrollment of an HIV-infected partner and/or HIV-infected child within the same program. Mortality and loss to follow-up were assessed for up to 5 years after women's ART initiation. Of the 2877 women initiating ART included in the analysis, 31% (n = 880) had at least 1 HIV-infected family member enrolled into care at the same program, including 24% (n = 689) who had an HIV-infected male partner, and 10% (n = 295) who had an HIV-infected child co-enrolled. There was no significant difference in the risk of death of women by family co-enrollment status (P = 0.286). However, the risk of loss to follow-up was greatest among women who did not have an HIV-infected family member co-enrolled (19% after 36 months on ART) compared with women who had an HIV-infected family member co-enrolled (3%-8% after 36 months on ART) (P < 0.001). These associations persisted after adjustment for demographic and clinical covariates and were consistent across countries and care programs. These data provide novel evidence for the association between adult outcomes on ART and co-enrollment of HIV-infected family members into care at the same program. Interventions that build on women's family contexts warrant further consideration in both research and policies to promote retention in ART services across sub-Saharan Africa.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects, costs, and cost-effectiveness of different degrees of antiretroviral therapy task shifting from physician to other health professionals in Ethiopia. Two-year retrospective cohort analysis on antiretroviral therapy patients coupled with cost analysis. Facilities with minimal or moderate task shifting compared with facilities with maximal task shifting. Maximal task shifting is defined as nonphysician clinicians handling both severe drug reactions and antiretroviral drug regimen changes. Secondary analysis compares health centers to hospitals. The primary effectiveness measure is the probability of a patient remaining actively on antiretroviral therapy for 2 years; the cost measure is the cost per patient per year. All facilities had some task shifting. About 89% of patients were actively on treatment 2 years after antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation, with no statistically significant differences between facilities with maximal and minimal or moderate task shifting. It cost about $206 per patient per year for ART, with no statistically significant difference between the comparison groups. The cost-effectiveness of maximal task shifting is similar to minimal or moderate task shifting, with the same results obtained using regression to control for facility characteristics. Shifting the handling of both severe drug reactions and antiretroviral drug regimen changes from physicians to other clinical officers is not associated with a significant change in the 2-year treatment success rate or the costs of ART care. As an observational study, these results are tentative, and more research is needed in determining the optimal patterns of task shifting.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 04/2014; 65(4):e140-7. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000064 · 4.39 Impact Factor