AIDS and TB Unit

Harare, Zimbabwe

AIDS and TB Unit

Harare, Zimbabwe
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Silhol R.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Nyamukapa C.,Imperial College London | And 9 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2017

Background: More cost-effective HIV control may be achieved by targeting geographical areas with high infection rates. The AIDS Impact model of Spectrum-used routinely to produce national HIV estimates-could provide the required subnational estimates but is rarely validated with empirical data, even at a national level. Design: The validity of the Spectrum model estimates were compared with empirical estimates. Methods: Antenatal surveillance and population survey data from a population HIV cohort study in Manicaland, East Zimbabwe, were input into Spectrum 5.441 to create a simulation representative of the cohort population. Model and empirical estimates were compared for key demographic and epidemiological outcomes. Alternative scenarios for data availability were examined and sensitivity analyses were conducted for model assumptions considered important for subnational estimates. Results: Spectrum estimates generally agreed with observed data but HIV incidence estimates were higher than empirical estimates, whereas estimates of early age all-cause adult mortality were lower. Child HIV prevalence estimates matched well with the survey prevalence among children. Estimated paternal orphanhood was lower than empirical estimates. Including observations from earlier in the epidemic did not improve the HIV incidence model fit. Migration had little effect on observed discrepancies-possibly because the model ignores differences in HIV prevalence between migrants and residents. Conclusion: The Spectrum model, using subnational surveillance and population data, provided reasonable subnational estimates although some discrepancies were noted. Differences in HIV prevalence between migrants and residents may need to be captured in the model if applied to subnational epidemics. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


Kiragu K.,The Global Fund | Collins L.,Columbia University | Von Zinkernagel D.,The Global Fund | Mushavi A.,AIDS and TB Unit
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2017

The urgency to scale-up sustainable programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) prompted priority countries of the Global Plan Toward the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive (Global Plan) to expand the delivery of PMTCT services through greater integration with sexual and reproductive health and child health services. Countries approached integration-what, where, and how services are provided-in diverse ways, with predominantly favorable results. Approaches to integrated services have increased access to a broader range of PMTCT interventions, and they also have proved to be largely acceptable to clients and providers. The integration of PMTCT interventions with maternal, newborn, and child health settings was supported by strategies to reconfigure service delivery to provide additional services, including shifting tasks to nurses (such as initiating antiretroviral therapy and providing long-term follow-up). This was complemented by supporting community outreach and integrating HIV and sexual and reproductive health services bidirectionally, including by providing family planning through antiretroviral therapy clinics and HIV testing in family planning clinics. A systematic and rigorous study of country experiences integrating HIV and maternal, newborn, and child health services, including maternal and pediatric TB services, cost analysis, could provide valuable lessons and demonstrate how such integration can improve systems for health care delivery. © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Erlwanger A.S.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | Joseph J.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | Gotora T.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | Muzunze B.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2017

Background: Consistent use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy and breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of mother-to-child HIV transmission. All pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV in Zimbabwe are offered ART with sameday initiation regardless of CD4 count (Option B+). We investigated patterns of clinic attendance and adherence to ART among HIVinfected pregnant women in Zimbabwe. Methods: The Evidence for Elimination cluster-randomized trial evaluating point-of-care CD4 testing included 1150 HIV-infected ART-naive women attending antenatal care between January 2014 and June 2015. Thirty-two primary care facilities were randomized between 2 arms. In this secondary analysis of Evidence for Elimination data collected from routine clinic records, we classified women by number of pills dispensed, and estimated adherence from the ratio of pills to days since ART initiation (Medication Possession Ratio, adherent if $95%) or the period when they stopped receiving medication. Results: Two-thirds (67.7%) were still receiving medication 1 year after initiation; less than half of the cohort (39.1%) were adherent. Younger women, newly diagnosed with HIV, and/or first presenting to antenatal care in their third trimester were more likely to drop from care or be nonadherent 360 days after ART initiation. Conclusion: Adherence to ART is suboptimal particularly among young, newly diagnosed, and/or late presenting patients. Interventions that target these groups, as well as provide additional support to all women who are newly diagnosed, may improve Option B+ ART care. More information is needed about the barriers to ART care among late presenters and teenagers. © Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


Zimbabwe's target to achieve Universal Access to treatment for HIV and AIDS, was severely affected by a decade long economic recession that threatened to reverse all the country's social and economic indicators. Despite these challenges, by September 2010, 282,916 adults and children (47.7% of those in need of treatment) were on treatment at 509 sites countrywide since national scale up started. ART services are predominantly offered through the public sector, with the private sector being an untapped potential resource for ART services for the future. Challenges of skilled and adequately trained human resources have hindered progress towards service availability. Providing access to children in particular has been constrained by lack of clinical mentorship for health workers, weak systems for support supervision, and inadequate HIV diagnostic services especially for children under 18 months and challenges with follow up of the HIV-exposed infants. Though the country has not met its target of Universal Access by 2010, significant progress has been made with over a 30-fold increase in service availability.


Gregson S.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Gonese E.,AIDS and TB Unit | Hallett T.B.,Imperial College London | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2010

Background: Recent data from antenatal clinic (ANC) surveillance and general population surveys suggest substantial declines in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence in Zimbabwe. We assessed the contributions of rising mortality, falling HIV incidence and sexual behaviour change to the decline in HIV prevalence. Methods: Comprehensive review and secondary analysis of national and local sources on trends in HIV prevalence, HIV incidence, mortality and sexual behaviour covering the period 1985-2007. Results: HIV prevalence fell in Zimbabwe over the past decade (national estimates: from 29.3% in 1997 to 15.6% in 2007). National census and survey estimates, vital registration data from Harare and Bulawayo, and prospective local population survey data from eastern Zimbabwe showed substantial rises in mortality during the 1990s levelling off after 2000. Direct estimates of HIV incidence in male factory workers and women attending pre- and post-natal clinics, trends in HIV prevalence in 15-24-year-olds, and back-calculation estimates based on the vital registration data from Harare indicated that HIV incidence may have peaked in the early 1990s and fallen during the 1990s. Household survey data showed reductions in numbers reporting casual partners from the late 1990s and high condom use in non-regular partnerships between 1998 and 2007. Conclusions: These findings provide the first convincing evidence of an HIV decline accelerated by changes in sexual behaviour in a southern African country. However, in 2007, one in every seven adults in Zimbabwe was still infected with a life-threatening virus and mortality rates remained at crisis level. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association © The Author 2010; all rights reserved.


Wiegert K.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Wiegert K.,Duke University | Dinh T.-H.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Mushavi A.,AIDS and TB Unit | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: We assessed the integration of PMTCT services during the postpartum period including early infant diagnosis of HIV (EID) and adult and pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) in maternal and child health (MCH) facilities in Zimbabwe Methods and Findings: From August to December 2012 we conducted a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 151 MCH facilities. A questionnaire was used to survey each site about staff training, dried blood spot sample (DBS) collection, turnaround time (TAT) for test results, PMTCT services, and HIV care and treatment linkages for HIV-infected mothers and children and HIV-exposed infants. Descriptive analyses were used. Of the facilities surveyed, all facilities were trained on DBS collection and 92% responded. Approximately, 99% of responding facilities reported providing DBS collection and a basic HIV-exposed infant service package including EID, extended nevirapine prophylaxis, and use of cotrimoxazole. DBS collection was integrated with immunisations at 83% of facilities, CD4 testing with point-of-care machines was available at 37% of facilities, and ART for both mothers and children was provided at 27% of facilities. More than 80% of facilities reported that DBS test results take >4 weeks to return; TAT did not have a direct association with any specific type of transport, distance to the lab, or intermediate stops for data to travel. Conclusions: Zimbabwe has successfully scaled up and integrated the national EID and PMTCT programs into the existing MCH setting. The long TAT of infant DBS test results and the lack of integrated ART programs in the MCH setting could reduce effectiveness of the national PMTCT and ART programs. Addressing these important gaps will support successful implementation of the 2014 Zimbabwe's PMTCT guidelines under which all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women will be offered life-long ART and decentralized ART care.


Takarinda K.C.,AIDS and TB Unit | Harries A.D.,International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Harries A.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Srinath S.,Qutub Institutional Area | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background. Zimbabwe is a Southern African country with a high HIV-TB burden and is ranked 19 th among the 22 Tuberculosis high burden countries worldwide. Recurrent TB is an important problem for TB control, yet there is limited information about treatment outcomes in relation to HIV status. This study was therefore conducted in Chitungwiza, a high density dormitory town outside the capital city, to determine in adults registered with recurrent TB how treatment outcomes were affected by type of recurrence and HIV status. Methods. Data were abstracted from the Chitungwiza district TB register for all 225 adult TB patients who had previously been on anti-TB treatment and who were registered as recurrent TB from January to December 2009. The Chi-square and Fischer's exact tests were used to establish associations between categorical variables. Multivariate relative risks for associations between the various TB treatment outcomes and HIV status, type of recurrent TB, sex and age were calculated using Poisson regression with robust error variance. Results. Of 225 registered TB patients with recurrent TB, 159 (71%) were HIV tested, 135 (85%) were HIV-positive and 20 (15%) were known to be on antiretroviral treatment (ART). More females were HIV-tested (75/90, 83%) compared with males (84/135, 62%). There were 103 (46%) with relapse TB, 32 (14%) with treatment after default, and 90 (40%) with "retreatment other" TB. There was one failure patient. HIV-testing and HIV-positivity were similar between patients with different types of TB. Overall, treatment success was 73% with transfer-outs at 14% being the most common adverse outcome. TB treatment outcomes did not differ by HIV status. However those with relapse TB had better treatment success compared to "retreatment other" TB patients, (adjusted RR 0.81; 95% CI 0.68 - 0.97, p = 0.02). Conclusions. No differences in treatment outcomes by HIV status were established in patients with recurrent TB. Important lessons from this study include increasing HIV testing uptake, a better understanding of what constitutes "retreatment other" TB, improved follow-up of true outcomes in patients who transfer-out and better recording practices related to HIV care and treatment especially for ART. © 2012 Takarinda et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Gregson S.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Nyamukapa C.A.,Imperial College London | Nyamukapa C.A.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | And 2 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2013

Objective: To investigate whether community engagement (participation in grassroots organizations) contributed to increases in HIV testing in Zimbabwe. Methods: Prospective data on membership of local community organizations (e.g. women's groups and burial societies) and uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) and prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services were collected from 5260 adults interviewed in two consecutive rounds of a general-population cohort survey in eastern Zimbabwe between 2003 and 2008. The effects of community engagement on uptake of services during the follow-up period were measured using logistic regression to adjust for observed confounding factors. Results: Sixteen percent of men and 47% of women were consistent members of community organizations; 58 and 35% of these people discussed HIV in their meetings and were members of externally sponsored organizations, respectively. Fewer men (10.1%) than women (32.4%) took up HTC during follow-up [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 4.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.43-4.86, P<0.001]. HTC uptake was higher for members of community organizations than for nonmembers: men, 15.0 versus 9.2% (1.67, 1.15-2.43, P = 0.007); women, 35.6 versus 29.6% (1.26, 1.06-1.49, P = 0.008). Membership of community organizations showed a nonsignificant association with PMTCT uptake amongst recently pregnant women (42.3 versus 34.2%; 1.30, 0.94-1.78, P=0.1). The most consistent positive associations between community participation and HTC and PMTCT uptake were found in organizations that discussed HIV and when external sponsorship was absent. Conclusion: Grassroots organizations contributed to increased uptake of HTC services in eastern Zimbabwe in the mid-2000s. Partnerships with these organizations could harness community support for the further increases in HIV testing needed in sub-Saharan Africa. © 2013 Creative Common License.


PubMed | Rwanda Biomedical Center, World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, Indiana University and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS medicine | Year: 2016

Maintaining high levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a challenge across settings and populations. Understanding the relative importance of different barriers to adherence will help inform the targeting of different interventions and future research priorities.We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and PsychINFO from 01 January 1997 to 31 March 2016 for studies reporting barriers to adherence to ART. We calculated pooled proportions of reported barriers to adherence per age group (adults, adolescents, and children). We included data from 125 studies that provided information about adherence barriers for 17,061 adults, 1,099 children, and 856 adolescents. We assessed differences according to geographical location and level of economic development. The most frequently reported individual barriers included forgetting (adults 41.4%, 95% CI 37.3%-45.4%; adolescents 63.1%, 95% CI 46.3%-80.0%; children/caregivers 29.2%, 95% CI 20.1%-38.4%), being away from home (adults 30.4%, 95% CI 25.5%-35.2%; adolescents 40.7%, 95% CI 25.7%-55.6%; children/caregivers 18.5%, 95% CI 10.3%-26.8%), and a change to daily routine (adults 28.0%, 95% CI 20.9%-35.0%; adolescents 32.4%, 95% CI 0%-75.0%; children/caregivers 26.3%, 95% CI 15.3%-37.4%). Depression was reported as a barrier to adherence by more than 15% of patients across all age categories (adults 15.5%, 95% CI 12.8%-18.3%; adolescents 25.7%, 95% CI 17.7%-33.6%; children 15.1%, 95% CI 3.9%-26.3%), while alcohol/substance misuse was commonly reported by adults (12.9%, 95% CI 9.7%-16.1%) and adolescents (28.8%, 95% CI 11.8%-45.8%). Secrecy/stigma was a commonly cited barrier to adherence, reported by more than 10% of adults and children across all regions (adults 13.6%, 95% CI 11.9%-15.3%; children/caregivers 22.3%, 95% CI 10.2%-34.5%). Among adults, feeling sick (15.9%, 95% CI 13.0%-18.8%) was a more commonly cited barrier to adherence than feeling well (9.3%, 95% CI 7.2%-11.4%). Health service-related barriers, including distance to clinic (adults 17.5%, 95% CI 13.0%-21.9%) and stock outs (adults 16.1%, 95% CI 11.7%-20.4%), were also frequently reported. Limitations of this review relate to the fact that included studies differed in approaches to assessing adherence barriers and included variable durations of follow up. Studies that report self-reported adherence will likely underestimate the frequency of non-adherence. For children, barriers were mainly reported by caregivers, which may not correspond to the most important barriers faced by children.Patients on ART face multiple barriers to adherence, and no single intervention will be sufficient to ensure that high levels of adherence to treatment and virological suppression are sustained. For maximum efficacy, health providers should consider a more triaged approach that first identifies patients at risk of poor adherence and then seeks to establish the support that is needed to overcome the most important barriers to adherence.


PubMed | University of Zimbabwe and AIDS and TB Unit
Type: | Journal: BMC public health | Year: 2016

Despite widespread awareness and publicity concerning Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) care and advances in treatment, many patients still present late in their HIV disease. Preliminary review of the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) registers at Wilkins and Beatrice Road Hospitals, both located in Harare, indicated that 67 and 71% of patients enrolled into HIV/AIDS care presented late with baseline CD4 of <200 cells/uL and/or WHO stage 3 and 4 respectively. We therefore sought to explore factors associated with late presentation in Harare City.We conducted a 1:1 unmatched case control study where a case was an HIV positive individual (>18years) with a baseline CD4 of <200/uL or who had WHO clinical stage 3 or 4 at first presentation to OI/ART centres in 2014 and; a control was HIV positive individual (>18years) who had a baseline CD4 of >200/uL or WHO clinical stage 1 or 2 at first presentation in 2014. Written informed consent was obtained from all study participants.A total of 268 participants were recruited (134 cases and 134 controls). Independent risk factors for late presentation for HIV/AIDS care were illness being reason for test (Adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] =7.68, 95% CI=4.08, 14.75); Being male (aOR=2.84, 95% CI=1.50, 5.40) and; experienced HIV stigma (aOR=2.99, 95% CI=1.54, 5.79). Independent protective factors were receiving information on HIV (aOR=0.37, 95% CI=0.18, 0.78) and earning more than US$250 per month (aOR=0.32, 95% CI=0.76, 0.67). Median duration between first reported HIV positive test result and enrolment into pre-ART care was 2days (Q1=1day; Q3=30days) among cases and 30days (Q1=3days; Q3=75days) among controls.Late presentation for HIV/AIDS care in Harare City was a result of factors that relate to the patients sex, reason for getting a test, receiving HIV related information, experiencing stigma and monthly income. Based on this evidence we recommended targeted interventions to optimize early access to testing and enrolment into care.

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