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Current Opinion in HIV & AIDS:
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834fc1df
TEST AND TREAT: Edited by Ann Duerr

Interventions to improve the performance of HIV health systems for treatment-as-prevention in sub-Saharan Africa: the experimental evidence

Bärnighausen, Tilla,b; Tanser, Franka; Dabis, Françoisc; Newell, Marie-Louisea,d

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Abstract

Purpose of review: To reduce HIV incidence, treatment-as-prevention (TasP) requires high rates of HIV testing, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) uptake, retention, and adherence, which are currently not achieved in general populations in sub-Saharan Africa. We review the experimental evidence on interventions to increase these rates.

Recent findings: In four rapid reviews, we found nine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on HIV-testing uptake, two on ART uptake, one on ART retention, and 15 on ART adherence in sub-Saharan Africa. Only two RCTs on HIV testing investigated an intervention in general populations; the other examined interventions in selected groups (employees, or individuals attending public-sector facilities for services). One RCT demonstrated that nurse-managed ART led to the same retention rates as physician-managed ART, but failed to show how to increase retention to the rates required for successful TasP. Although the evidence on ART adherence is strongest – several RCTs demonstrate the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioural interventions – contradictory results in different settings suggest that the precise intervention content, or the context, are crucial for effectiveness.

Summary: Future studies need to test the effectiveness of interventions to increase testing and treatment uptake, retention, and adherence under TasP, that is, ART for all HIV-infected individuals, independent of disease stage.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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