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Health provider training is associated with improved engagement in HIV care among adolescents and young adults in Kenya

Wilson, Kate S.a; Mugo, Cyrusa,b; Moraa, Hellenc; Onyango, Alvinc; Nduati, Margaretc; Inwani, Irenec; Bukusi, Davidd; Slyker, Jennifera,e; Guthrie, Brandon L.a,e; Richardson, Barbra A.a,f; John-Stewart, Grace C.a,e,g,h; Wamalwa, Daltonc; Kohler, Pamela K.a,i

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002217

Objectives: Adolescents and young adults (AYA) have poorer retention, viral suppression, and survival than other age groups. We evaluated correlates of initial AYA engagement in HIV care at facilities participating in a randomized trial in Kenya.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: Electronic medical records from AYA ages 10–24 attending 24 HIV care facilities in Kenya were abstracted. Facility surveys assessed provider trainings and services. HIV provider surveys assessed AYA training and work experience. Engagement in care was defined as return for first follow-up visit within 3 months among newly enrolled or recently re-engaged (returning after >3 months out of care) AYA. Multilevel regression estimated risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), accounting for clustering by facility. Final models adjusted for AYA individual age and median AYA age and number enrolled per facility.

Results: Among 3662 AYA records at first eligible visit, most were female (75.1%), older (20–24 years: 54.5%), and on antiretroviral therapy (79.5%). Overall, 2639 AYA returned for care (72.1%) after enrollment or re-engagement visit. Engagement in care among AYA was significantly higher at facilities offering provider training in adolescent-friendly care (85.5 vs. 67.7%; adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 1.11, 95% CI: 1.01–1.22) and that used the Kenyan government's AYA care checklist (88.9 vs. 69.2%; aRR 1.14, 95% CI: 1.06–1.23). Engagement was also significantly higher at facilities where providers reported being trained in AYA HIV care (aRR 1.56, 95% CI: 1.13–2.16).

Conclusion: Adolescent-specific health provider training and tools may improve quality of care and subsequent AYA engagement. Health provider interventions are needed to achieve the ‘95–95–95’ targets for AYA.

aDepartment of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

bDepartment of Research and Programs, Kenyatta National Hospital

cDepartment of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Nairobi

dVoluntary Counseling and Tescting and HIV Prevention Unit, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya

eDepartment of Epidemiology

fDepartment of Biostatistics

gDepartment of Pediatrics

hDepartment of Medicine

iDivision of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Correspondence to Kate S. Wilson, PhD, MPH, Department of Global Health, University of Washington, 325 9th Avenue, Box 359932, Seattle WA 98104, USA. Tel +1 206 685 0583; e-mail:

Received 21 September, 2018

Revised 12 March, 2019

Accepted 15 March, 2019

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.