[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Generalizable data are needed on the magnitude and determinants of adherence and virological suppression among patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey with chart abstraction, patient interviews and site assessments in a nationally representative sample of adults on ART for 6, 12 and 18 months at 20 sites in Rwanda. Adherence was assessed using 3- and 30-day patient recall. A systematically selected sub-sample had viral load (VL) measurements. Multivariable logistic regression examined predictors of non-perfect (<100%) 30-day adherence and detectable VL (>40 copies/ml).
Overall, 1,417 adults were interviewed and 837 had VL measures. Ninety-four percent and 78% reported perfect adherence for the last 3 and 30 days, respectively. Eighty-three percent had undetectable VL. In adjusted models, characteristics independently associated with higher odds of non-perfect 30-day adherence were: being on ART for 18 months (vs. 6 months); younger age; reporting severe (vs. no or few) side effects in the prior 30 days; having no documentation of CD4 cell count at ART initiation (vs. having a CD4 cell count of <200 cells/µL); alcohol use; and attending sites which initiated ART services in 2003-2004 and 2005 (vs. 2006-2007); sites with ≥600 (vs. <600 patients) on ART; or sites with peer educators. Participation in an association for people living with HIV/AIDS; and receiving care at sites which regularly conduct home-visits were independently associated with lower odds of non-adherence. Higher odds of having a detectable VL were observed among patients at sites with peer educators. Being female; participating in an association for PLWHA; and using a reminder tool were independently associated with lower odds of having detectable VL.
High levels of adherence and viral suppression were observed in the Rwandan national ART program, and associated with potentially modifiable factors.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53586. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As HIV care services continue to scale-up in sub-Saharan Africa, adequate tuberculosis diagnostic capacity is vital to reduce mortality among HIV-infected persons. A structured survey was administered at 663 health facilities providing HIV care to 908,043 patients in across 9 sub-Saharan African countries to estimate the proportion of facilities and HIV patients at these facilities with access TB-related diagnostic tests. Sputum smear microscopy was available at 87% of facilities (representing 97% of patients), chest x-ray at 26% of facilities (representing 56% of patients), tuberculin skin tests were available at 12% of facilities (representing 33% of patients). Acid-fast bacillus culture was available on-/off-site at 53% of facilities (representing 77% of patients). Primary health facilities had lower availability of tuberculosis diagnostic tests compared with secondary and tertiary health facilities. As HIV care continues to decentralize to primary health facilities, a corresponding expansion of diagnostic capacity to lower levels of the health system will be essential.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Program monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has the potential to be a cornerstone of health systems strengthening and of evidence-informed implementation and scale-up of HIV-related services in resource-limited settings. We discuss common challenges to M&E systems used in the rapid scale-up of HIV services as well as innovations that may have relevance to systems used to monitor, evaluate, and inform health systems strengthening. These include (1) Web-based applications with decentralized data entry and real-time access to summary reporting; (2) timely feedback of information to site and district staff; (3) site-level integration of traditionally siloed program area indicators; (4) longitudinal tracking of program and site characteristics; (5) geographic information systems; and (6) use of routinely collected aggregate data for epidemiologic analysis and operations research. Although conventionally used in the context of vertical programs, these approaches can form a foundation on which data relevant to other health services and systems can be layered, including prevention services, primary care, maternal-child health, and chronic disease management. Guiding principles for sustainable national M&E systems include country-led development and ownership, support for national programs and policies, interoperability, and employment of an open-source approach to software development.