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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30315-5

Trends in knowledge of HIV status and efficiency of HIV testing services in sub-Saharan Africa, 2000-20: a modelling study using survey and HIV testing programme data.

02 Mar 2021-The Lancet HIV (Elsevier)-Vol. 8, Iss: 5
Abstract: Summary Background Monitoring knowledge of HIV status among people living with HIV is essential for an effective national HIV response. This study estimates progress and gaps in reaching the UNAIDS 2020 target of 90% knowledge of status, and the efficiency of HIV testing services in sub-Saharan Africa, where two thirds of all people living with HIV reside. Methods For this modelling study, we used data from 183 population-based surveys (including more than 2·7 million participants) and national HIV testing programme reports (315 country-years) from 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa as inputs into a mathematical model to examine trends in knowledge of status among people living with HIV, median time from HIV infection to diagnosis, HIV testing positivity, and proportion of new diagnoses among all positive tests, adjusting for retesting. We included data from 2000 to 2019, and projected results to 2020. Findings Across sub-Saharan Africa, knowledge of status steadily increased from 5·7% (95% credible interval [CrI] 4·6–7·0) in 2000 to 84% (82–86) in 2020. 12 countries and one region, southern Africa, reached the 90% target. In 2020, knowledge of status was lower among men (79%, 95% CrI 76–81) than women (87%, 85–89) across sub-Saharan Africa. People living with HIV aged 15–24 years were the least likely to know their status (65%, 62–69), but the largest gap in terms of absolute numbers was among men aged 35–49 years, with 701 000 (95% CrI 611 000–788 000) remaining undiagnosed. As knowledge of status increased from 2000 to 2020, the median time to diagnosis decreased from 9·6 years (9·1–10) to 2·6 years (1·8–3·5), HIV testing positivity declined from 9·0% (7·7–10) to 2·8% (2·1–3·9), and the proportion of first-time diagnoses among all positive tests dropped from 89% (77–96) to 42% (30–55). Interpretation On the path towards the next UNAIDS target of 95% diagnostic coverage by 2025, and in a context of declining positivity and yield of first-time diagnoses, disparities in knowledge of status must be addressed. Increasing knowledge of status and treatment coverage among older men could be crucial to reducing HIV incidence among women in sub-Saharan Africa, and by extension, reducing mother-to-child transmission. Funding Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research (McGill University); Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Fonds the recherche du Quebec—Sante; UNAIDS; UK Medical Research Council; MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis; UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

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Topics: Population (51%)
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10 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PMED.1003651
Peter Ehrenkranz1, Sydney Rosen2, Andrew Boulle3, Jeffrey W. Eaton4  +7 moreInstitutions (10)
24 May 2021-PLOS Medicine
Abstract: Peter Ehrenkranz and co-authors present a cyclical cascade of care for people with HIV infection, aiming to facilitate assessment of outcomes.

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4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/S12889-021-10573-7
Cheryl Johnson1, Cheryl Johnson2, Moses Kumwenda3, Jamilah Meghji4  +12 moreInstitutions (6)
03 Apr 2021-BMC Public Health
Abstract: Despite the aging HIV epidemic, increasing age can be associated with hesitancy to test. Addressing this gap is a critical policy concern and highlights the urgent need to identify the underlying factors, to improve knowledge of HIV-related risks as well as uptake of HIV testing and prevention services, in midlife-older adults. We conducted five focus group discussions and 12 in-depth interviews between April 2013 and November 2016 among rural and urban Malawian midlife-older (≥30 years) men and women. Using a life-course theoretical framework we explored how age is enacted socially and its implications on HIV testing and sexual risk behaviours. We also explore the potential for HIV self-testing (HIVST) to be part of a broader strategy for engaging midlife-older adults in HIV testing, prevention and care. Thematic analysis was used to identify recurrent themes and variations. Midlife-older adults (30–74 years of age) associated their age with respectability and identified HIV as “a disease of youth” that would not affect them, with age protecting them against infidelity and sexual risk-taking. HIV testing was felt to be stigmatizing, challenging age norms, threatening social status, and implying “lack of wisdom”. These norms drove self-testing preferences at home or other locations deemed age and gender appropriate. Awareness of the potential for long-standing undiagnosed HIV to be carried forward from past relationships was minimal, as was understanding of treatment-as-prevention. These norms led to HIV testing being perceived as a threat to status by older adults, contributing to low levels of recent HIV testing compared to younger adults. Characteristics associated with age-gender norms and social position encourage self-testing but drive poor HIV-risk perception and unacceptability of conventional HIV testing in midlife-older adults. There is an urgent need to provide targeted messages and services more appropriate to midlife-older adults in sub-Saharan Africa. HIVST which has often been highlighted as a tool for reaching young people, may be a valuable tool for engaging midlife-older age groups who may not otherwise test.

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1 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.03.31.21254700
06 Apr 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: Background WHO 2019 HIV testing guidelines recommended a standard HIV testing strategy consisting of three consecutively HIV-reactive test results on serology assays to diagnose HIV infection. National HIV programmes in high prevalence settings currently using the strategy consisting of only two consecutive HIV-reactive tests should consider when to implement the new guideline recommendations. Methods and Findings We implemented a probability model to simulate outcomes of WHO 2019 and the two strategies recommended by WHO 2015 guidelines on HIV testing services. Each assay in the strategy was assumed independently 99% sensitivity and 98% specificity, the minimal thresholds required for WHO prequalification. For each strategy and positivity ranging 20% to 0.2%, we calculated the number of false-negative, false-positive, and inconclusive results; positive and negative predictive value (PPV, NPV); number of each assay used, and testing programme costs. We found that the NPV was above 99.9% for all scenarios modelled. Under the WHO 2015 two-test strategy, the PPV was below the 99% target threshold when positivity fell below 5%. For the WHO 2019 strategy, the PPV was above 99% for all positivity levels. The number reported ‘inconclusive’ was higher under the WHO 2019 strategy. Implementing the WHO 2019 testing strategy in Malawi, would require around 89,000 A3 tests in 2021, compared to 175,000 A2 tests and over 4.5 million A1 tests per year. The incremental cost of the WHO 2019 strategy was less than 2% in 2021 and declined to 0.9% in 2025. Conclusions As positivity among persons testing for HIV reduces below 5% in nearly all settings, implementation of the WHO 2019 testing strategy will ensure that positive predictive value remains above the 99% target threshold, averting misdiagnoses and ART initiations among HIV uninfected people. The incremental cost of implementing the WHO 2019 HIV testing strategy compared to the two-test strategy is negligible because the third assay accounts for a small and diminishing share of total HIV tests.

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Topics: Test strategy (53%)

1 Citations



Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S10461-021-03404-8
11 Aug 2021-Aids and Behavior
Abstract: Little is known about screening tools for adults in high HIV burden contexts. We use exit survey data collected at outpatient departments in Malawi (n = 1038) to estimate the sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values of screening tools that include questions about sexual behavior and use of health services. We compare a full tool (seven relevant questions) to a reduced tool (five questions, excluding sexual behavior measures) and to standard of care (two questions, never tested for HIV or tested > 12 months ago, or seeking care for suspected STI). Suspect STI and ≥ 3 sexual partners were associated with HIV positivity, but had weak sensitivity and specificity. The full tool (using the optimal cutoff score of ≥ 3) would achieve 55.6% sensitivity and 84.9% specificity for HIV positivity; the reduced tool (optimal cutoff score ≥ 2) would achieve 59.3% sensitivity and 68.5% specificity; and standard of care 77.8% sensitivity and 47.8% specificity. Screening tools for HIV testing in outpatient departments do not offer clear advantages over standard of care.

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Topics: Outpatient clinic (60%), HIV Positivity (55%)

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25 results found



Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA1600693
Myron S. Cohen1, Ying Q. Chen1, Marybeth McCauley1, Theresa Gamble1  +32 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: BackgroundAn interim analysis of data from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 trial showed that antiretroviral therapy (ART) prevented more than 96% of genetically linked infections caused by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples. ART was then offered to all patients with HIV-1 infection (index participants). The study included more than 5 years of follow-up to assess the durability of such therapy for the prevention of HIV-1 transmission. MethodsWe randomly assigned 1763 index participants to receive either early or delayed ART. In the early-ART group, 886 participants started therapy at enrollment (CD4+ count, 350 to 550 cells per cubic millimeter). In the delayed-ART group, 877 participants started therapy after two consecutive CD4+ counts fell below 250 cells per cubic millimeter or if an illness indicative of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (i.e., an AIDS-defining illness) developed. The primary study end point was the diagnosis of genetically linked H...

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919 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70692-3
Abstract: Summary Background Use of antiretroviral treatment for HIV-1 infection has decreased AIDS-related morbidity and mortality and prevents sexual transmission of HIV-1. H owever, the best time to initiate antiretroviral treatment to reduce progression of HIV-1 infection or non-AIDS clinical events is unknown. We reported previously that early antiretroviral treatment reduced HIV-1 transmission by 96%. We aimed to compare the eff ects of early and delayed initiation of antiretroviral treatment on clinical outcomes. Methods The HPTN 052 trial is a randomised controlled trial done at 13 sites in nine countries. We enrolled HIV-1-serodiscordant couples to the study and randomly allocated them to either early or delayed antiretroviral treatment by use of permuted block randomisation, stratifi ed by site. Random assignment was unblinded. The HIV-1-infected member of every couple initiated antiretroviral treatment either on entry into the study (early treatment group) or after a decline in CD4 count or with onset of an AIDS-related illness (delayed treatment group). Primary events were AIDS clinical events (WHO stage 4 HIV-1 disease, tuberculosis, and severe bacterial infections) and the following serious medical conditions unrelated to AIDS: serious cardiovascular or vascular disease, serious liver disease, end-stage renal disease, new-onset diabetes mellitus, and non-AIDS malignant disease. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00074581. Findings 1763 people with HIV-1 infection and a serodiscordant partner were enrolled in the study; 886 were assigned early antiretroviral treatment and 877 to the delayed treatment group (two individuals were excluded from this group af ter randomisation). Median CD4 counts at randomisation were 442 (IQR 373–522) cells per μL in patients assigned to the early treatment group and 428 (357–522) cells per μL in those allocated delayed antiretroviral treatment. In the delayed group, antiretroviral treatment was initiated at a median CD4 count of 230 (IQR 197–249) cells per μL. Primary clinical events were reported in 57 individuals assigned to early treatment initiation versus 77 people allocated to delayed antiretroviral treatment (hazard ratio 0·73, 95% CI 0·52–1·03; p=0·074). New-onset AIDS events were recorded in 40 participants assigned to early antiretroviral treatment versus 61 allocated delayed initiation (0·64, 0·43–0·96; p=0·031), tuberculosis developed in 17 versus 34 patients, respectively (0·49, 0·28–0·89, p=0·018), and primary nonAIDS events were rare (12 in the early group vs nine with delayed treatment). In total, 498 primary and secondary outcomes occurred in the early treatment group (incidence 24·9 per 100 person-years, 95% CI 22·5–27·5) versus 585 in the delayed treatment group (29·2 per 100 person-years, 26·5–32·1; p=0·025). 26 people died, 11 who were allocated to early antiretroviral treatment and 15 who were assigned to the delayed treatment group.

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Topics: HPTN 052 (58%), Randomized controlled trial (53%), Sexual transmission (52%) ... read more

393 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PMED.1001496
Amitabh B. Suthar1, Nathan Ford1, Pamela Bachanas2, Vincent Wong3  +7 moreInstitutions (7)
13 Aug 2013-PLOS Medicine
Abstract: Background: Effective national and global HIV responses require a significant expansion of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) to expand access to prevention and care. Facility-based HTC, while essential, is unlikely to meet national and global targets on its own. This article systematically reviews the evidence for community-based HTC. first-time testers (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06-1.42), and the proportion of participants with CD4 counts above 350 cells/ml (RR 1.42, 95% CI 1.16-1.74), and obtained a lower positivity rate (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37-0.96), relative to facility-based approaches. 80% (95% CI 75%-85%) of 5,832 community-based HTC participants obtained a CD4 measurement following HIV diagnosis, and 73% (95% CI 61%-85%) of 527 community-based HTC participants initiated antiretroviral therapy following a CD4 measurement indicating eligibility. The data on linking participants without HIV to prevention services were limited. In low- and middle-income countries, the cost per person tested ranged from US$2-US$126. At the population level, community- based HTC increased HTC coverage (RR 7.07, 95% CI 3.52-14.22) and reduced HIV incidence (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.73-1.02), although the incidence reduction lacked statistical significance. No studies reported any harm arising as a result of having been tested. Conclusions: Community-based HTC achieved high rates of HTC uptake, reached people with high CD4 counts, and linked people to care. It also obtained a lower HIV positivity rate relative to facility-based approaches. Further research is needed to further improve acceptability of community-based HTC for key populations. HIV programmes should offer community- based HTC linked to prevention and care, in addition to facility-based HTC, to support increased access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Review Registration: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42012002554 Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.

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Topics: HIV Positivity (50%)

322 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60253-6
Sarah Hawkes1, Kent Buse2Institutions (2)
18 May 2013-The Lancet
Abstract: In this article the authors survey the evidence for the role of gender in health status analyze responses to gender by key global health actors and propose strategies for mainstreaming gender-related evidence into policies and programs. Using the WHO definition of gender the article attempts to disentangle and quantify the exact contributions that sex and gender make to health status which often interact with other social determinants of health. The authors analyzed the recent Global Burden of Disease (GBD) from a gender perspective. Data from this study are intended to help policy makers to set priorities and allocate resources according to population health needs. Evidence shows that gender – a social construct – has a substantial effect on health behaviors access to health care and health system responses. The tendency to underplay or misunderstand the role of gender or to equate the gender dimensions of health solely with the specific health needs of women has led to a failure to address the evidence of gendered determinants that affect and drive the burden of ill health of both men and women.

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Topics: Social determinants of health (66%), Health policy (65%), Population health (64%) ... read more

204 Citations