Routine offer of antenatal HIV testing (“opt-out” approach) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in urban Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Project, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation (Impact Factor: 5.09). 11/2007; 85(11):843-50. DOI: 10.1590/S0042-96862007001100010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the impact of routine antenatal HIV testing for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in urban Zimbabwe.
Community counsellors were trained in routine HIV testing policy using a specific training module from June 2005 through November 2005. Key outcomes during the first 6 months of routine testing were compared with the prior 6-month "opt-in" period, and clients were interviewed.
Of the 4551 women presenting for antenatal care during the first 6 months of routine HIV testing, 4547 (99.9%) were tested for HIV compared with 3058 (65%) of 4700 women during the last 6 months of the opt-in testing (P < 0.001), with a corresponding increase in the numbers of HIV-infected women identified antenatally (926 compared with 513, P < 0.001). During routine testing, more HIV-infected women collected results compared to the opt-in testing (908 compared with 487, P < 0.001) resulting in a significant increase in deliveries by HIV-infected women (256 compared with 186, P = 0.001); more mother/infant pairs received antiretroviral prophylaxis (n = 256) compared to the opt-in testing (n = 185); and more mother/infant pairs followed up at clinics (105 compared with 49, P = 0.002). Women were satisfied with counselling services and most (89%) stated that offering routine testing is helpful. HIV-infected women reported low levels of spousal abuse and other adverse social consequences.
Routine antenatal HIV testing should be implemented at all sites in Zimbabwe to maximize the public health impact of PMTCT.

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Available from: Yvonne Maldonado, Sep 26, 2015
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    • "Few studies have pointed to a positive impact of PITC on linkage to care as compared to standard opt-in approaches. A Zimbabwe study in 2005 compared mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) service indicators during a 6 month routine HIV testing period with the prior opt-in testing period and found significantly more women in the routine testing period received their test results and were post-test counselled and more mother-infant pairs were seen at their 6 week follow-up visits [16]. Stronger evidence emerged from a South African retrospective review that found a statistically significant temporal association between the introduction of PITC for patients with TB in 2005, and subsequent increased referrals to ART (from 16% in the period 2002–2005 to 34.7% in 2007–2008) [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundWe examined linkage to care for patients with sexually transmitted infection who were diagnosed HIV-positive via the provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) approach, as compared to the voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) approach, as little is known about the impact of expanded testing strategies on linkage to care.MethodsIn a controlled trial on PITC (Cape Town, 2007), we compared HIV follow-up care for a nested cohort of 930 HIV-positive patients. We cross-referenced HIV testing and laboratory records to determine access to CD4 and viral load testing as primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes were HIV immune status and time taken to be linked to HIV care. Logistic regression was performed to analyse the difference between arms.ResultsThere was no difference in the main outcomes of patients with a record of CD4 testing (69.9% in the intervention, 65.2% in control sites, OR 0.82 (CI: 0.44-1.51; p = 0.526) and viral load testing (14.9% intervention versus 10.9% control arm; OR 0.69 (CI: 0.42-1.12; p = 0.131). In the intervention arm, ART-eligible patients (based on low CD4 test result), accessed viral load testing approximately 2.5 months sooner than those in the control arm (214 days vs. 288 days, HR: 0.417, 95% CI: 0.221-0.784; p = 0.007).ConclusionThe PITC intervention did not improve linkage to CD4 testing, but shortened the time to viral load testing for ART-eligible patients. Major gaps found in follow-up care across both arms, indicate the need for more effective linkage-to-HIV care strategies.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN93692532Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-350) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    BMC Health Services Research 08/2014; 14(1):350. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-350 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "The reporting of implementation information is highly variable both within and across articles, with some articles reporting a great deal of information about some criteria and almost nothing about others, and likewise some articles report almost nothing about most criteria while others report a great deal about most criteria. For example, the articles by Chandisarewa [19], Kumar [23], and Marsh [28] are examples of good reporting on most criteria. In total, eight articles had ‘good’ or ‘fair’ documentation for greater than 75% of criteria, while five articles had ‘poor or none’ documentation for 50% or more criteria. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is an increasing push for ‘evidence-based’ decision making in global health policy circles. However, at present there are no agreed upon standards or guidelines for how to evaluate evidence in global health. Recent evaluations of existing evidence frameworks that could serve such a purpose have identified details of program context and project implementation as missing components needed to inform policy. We performed a pilot study to assess the current state of reporting of context and implementation in studies of global health interventions. Methods We identified three existing criteria sets for implementation reporting and selected from them 10 criteria potentially relevant to the needs of policy makers in global health contexts. We applied these 10 criteria to 15 articles included in the evidence base for three global health interventions chosen to represent a diverse set of advocated global health programs or interventions: household water chlorination, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and lay community health workers to reduce child mortality. We used a good-fair-poor/none scale for the ratings. Results The proportion of criteria for which reporting was poor/none ranged from 11% to 54% with an average of 30%. Eight articles had ‘good’ or ‘fair’ documentation for greater than 75% of criteria, while five articles had ‘poor or none’ documentation for 50% of criteria or more. Examples of good reporting were identified. Conclusions Reporting of context and implementation information in studies of global health interventions is mostly fair or poor, and highly variable. The idiosyncratic variability in reporting indicates that global health investigators need more guidance about what aspects of context and implementation to measure and how to report them. This lack of context and implementation information is a major gap in the evidence needed by global health policy makers to reach decisions.
    Implementation Science 05/2014; 9(1):57. DOI:10.1186/1748-5908-9-57 · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    • "The women also appreciated that HIV testing was beneficial since those found to be positive could access HIV treatment for themselves. The need to protect their children and the concern for their own health have been documented in other African settings as key reasons for women’s acceptance of HIV testing during pregnancy [11,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Routine HIV counselling and testing as part of antenatal care has been institutionalized in Uganda as an entry point for pregnant women into the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme. Understanding how women experience this mode of HIV testing is important to generate ideas on how to strengthen the PMTCT programme. We explored pregnant HIV positive and negative women’s experiences of routine counselling and testing in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda and formulated suggestions for improving service delivery. Methods This was a qualitative study conducted at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Eastern Uganda between January and May 2010. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 30 pregnant women (15 HIV positive and 15 HIV negative) attending an antenatal clinic, six key informant interviews with health workers providing antenatal care and observations. Data were analyzed using a content thematic approach. Results Prior to attending their current ANC visit, most women knew that the hospital provided HIV counselling and testing services as part of antenatal care (ANC). HIV testing was perceived as compulsory for all women attending ANC at the hospital but beneficial, for mothers, especially those who test HIV positive and their unborn babies. Most HIV positive women were satisfied with the immediate counselling they received from health workers, but identified the need to provide follow up counselling and support after the test, as areas for improvement. However, most HIV negative women mentioned that they were given inadequate attention during post-test counselling. This left them with unanswered questions and, for some, doubts about the negative test results. Conclusions In this setting, routine HIV counselling and testing services are known and acceptable to mothers. There is need to strengthen post-test and follow up counselling for both HIV positive and negative women in order to maximize opportunities for primary and post exposure HIV prevention. Partnerships and linkages with people living with HIV, especially those in existing support groups such as those at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), may help to strengthen counselling and support for pregnant women. For effective HIV prevention, women who test HIV negative should be supported to remain negative.
    BMC Health Services Research 05/2013; 13(1):189. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-189 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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