Linkage to and engagement in HIV care in western Kenya: An observational study using population-based estimates from home-based counseling and testing.
Jan 1 2015
BACKGROUND: There is limited research characterizing the HIV care continuum with population-based data in sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of this study were to: 1) describe engagement in care among all known HIV-positive adults in one sub-county of western Kenya; and 2) determine the time to and predictors of linkage and engagement among adults newly diagnosed via home-based counseling and testing (HBCT).
METHODS: AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) has provided HIV care in western Kenya since 2001 and HBCT since 2007. Following a widespread HBCT program in Bunyala sub-county, electronic medical records (EMR) were reviewed to identify uptake of care among individuals with previously known (self-reported) infection and new (identified by HBCT) HIV diagnoses as of June 2014. Engagement in HIV care was defined as an initial encounter with an HIV care provider. Cox regression analysis was used to examine the predictors of engagement among those newly diagnosed.
FINDINGS: Of the 3,482 infected adults identified, 61% had previously known infections, among whom 84% (n = 1778/2122) had ever had at least one clinical encounter within AMPATH. While 73% were registered in the EMR, only 15% (n = 209/1360) of the newly diagnosed had seen a clinician over a median of 3·4 years. The median time to engagement among the newly diagnosed was 60 days (interquartile range: 10-411 days).
INTERPRETATION: Engagement in care was high among those who at the time of HBCT were already known HIV-positive, but few who were newly diagnosed in HBCT saw an HIV care provider.
FUNDING: This research was supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID under the terms of Cooperative Agreement No. AID-623-A-12-0001. The HBCT program was supported by grants from Abbott Laboratories, the Purple ville Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition. Abbott Laboratories provided test kits and logistical support. Further support was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (K01MH099966, PI: Genberg) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The contents of this study are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, NIMH, BMGF, or the United States Government.
Engagement in HIV care; HIV treatment-as-prevention; Home-based HIV counseling and testing; Implementation research; Linkage to HIV care; sub-Saharan Africa