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Blantyre, Malawi

MacPherson P.,Clinical Group | MacPherson P.,HIV and TB Group | Corbett E.L.,HIV and TB Group | Corbett E.L.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Poor rates of linkage from HIV diagnosis to ART initiation are a major barrier to universal coverage of ART in sub-Saharan Africa, with reasons for failure poorly understood. In the first study of this kind at primary care level, we investigated the pathway to care in the Malawian National Programme, one of the strongest in Africa. Methods and Findings: A prospective cohort study was undertaken at two primary care clinics in Blantyre, Malawi. Newly diagnosed HIV-positive adults (>15 years) were followed for 6-months to assess completion of eligibility assessments, initiation of ART and death. Two hundred and eighty participants were followed for 82.6 patient-years. ART eligibility assessments were problematic: only 134 (47.9%) received same day WHO staging and 121 (53.2%) completed assessments by 6-months. Completion of CD4 measurement (stage 1/2 only) was 81/153 (52.9%). By 6-months, 87/280 (31.1%) had initiated ART with higher uptake in participants who were ART eligible (68/91, 74.7%), and among participants who received same-day staging (52/134 [38.8%] vs. 35/146 [24.0%] p = 0.007). Non-completion of ART eligibility assessments (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.11, 95% CI: 0.06-0.21) was associated with failure to initiate ART. Retention in pre-ART care for non-ART initiators was low (55/193 [28.5%]). Of the 15 (5.4%) deaths, 11 (73.3%) occurred after ART initiation. Conclusions: Although uptake of ART was high and prompt for patients with known eligibility, there was frequent failure to complete eligibility assessment and poor retention in pre-ART care. HIV care programmes should urgently evaluate the way patients are linked to ART. In particular, there is a critical need for simplified, same-day ART eligibility assessments, reduced requirements for hospital visits, and active defaulter follow-up. © 2012 MacPherson et al.

Dodd P.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Knight G.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Lawn S.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Lawn S.D.,University of Cape Town | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Objective:To investigate the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on long-term population-level tuberculosis disease (TB) incidence in sub-Saharan Africa.Methods:We used a mathematical model to consider the effect of different assumptions about life expectancy and TB risk during long-term ART under alternative scenarios for trends in population HIV incidence and ART coverage.Results:All the scenarios we explored predicted that the widespread introduction of ART would initially reduce population-level TB incidence. However, many modelled scenarios projected a rebound in population-level TB incidence after around 20 years. This rebound was predicted to exceed the TB incidence present before ART scale-up if decreases in HIV incidence during the same period were not sufficiently rapid or if the protective effect of ART on TB was not sustained. Nevertheless, most scenarios predicted a reduction in the cumulative TB incidence when accompanied by a relative decline in HIV incidence of more than 10% each year.Conclusions:Despite short-term benefits of ART scale-up on population TB incidence in sub-Saharan Africa, longer-term projections raise the possibility of a rebound in TB incidence. This highlights the importance of sustaining good adherence and immunologic response to ART and, crucially, the need for effective HIV preventive interventions, including early widespread implementation of ART. © 2013 Dodd et al.

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