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JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000078
Implementation and Operational Research: Epidemiology and Prevention

Qualitative Assessment of the Integration of HIV Services With Infant Routine Immunization Visits in Tanzania

Wallace, Aaron MPH, MBA*; Kimambo, Sajida MD, MPH; Dafrossa, Lyimo MD; Rusibamayila, Neema MD§; Rwebembera, Anath MD; Songoro, Juma MD; Arthur, Gilly MD; Luman, Elizabeth PhD*; Finkbeiner, Thomas MD; Goodson, James L. MPH*

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Abstract

Background: In 2009, a project was implemented in 8 primary health clinics throughout Tanzania to explore the feasibility of integrating pediatric HIV prevention services with routine infant immunization visits.

Methods: We conducted interviews with 64 conveniently sampled mothers of infants who had received integrated HIV and immunization services and 16 providers who delivered the integrated services to qualitatively identify benefits and challenges of the intervention midway through project implementation.

Findings: Mothers' perceived benefits of the integrated services included time savings, opportunity to learn their child's HIV status and receive HIV treatment, if necessary. Providers' perceived benefits included reaching mothers who usually would not come for only HIV testing. Mothers and providers reported similar challenges, including mothers' fear of HIV testing, poor spousal support, perceived mandatory HIV testing, poor patient flow affecting confidentiality of service delivery, heavier provider workloads, and community stigma against HIV-infected persons; the latter a more frequent theme in rural compared with urban locations.

Interpretation: Future scale-up should ensure privacy of these integrated services received at clinics and community outreach to address stigma and perceived mandatory testing. Increasing human resources for health to address higher workloads and longer waiting times for proper patient flow is necessary in the long term.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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