Uptake of antiretroviral therapy and male circumcision after community-based HIV testing and strategies for linkage to care versus standard clinic referral: a multisite, open-label, randomised controlled trial in South Africa and Uganda

SOURCE: The Lancet HIV
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): R.V.Barnabas, H.Van Rooyen, E.Tumwesigye, J.Brantley, J.M.Baeten, A.Van Heerden, B.Turyamureeba, P.K.Joseph, M.Krows, K.K.Thomas, T.T.Schaafsma, J.P.Hughes, C.Celum
KEYWORDS: ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY, CIRCUMCISION, HIV TESTING AND COUNSELLING (HTC), HIV/AIDS, MEN
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9103
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/9425

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Abstract

Male circumcision decreases HIV acquisition by 60%, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) almost eliminates HIV transmission from HIV-positive people who are virally suppressed; however, coverage of these interventions has lagged behind targets. We aimed to assess whether community-based HIV testing with counsellor support and point of-care CD4 cell count testing would increase uptake of ART and male circumcision.All the community-based strategies achieved high rates of linkage of HIV-positive people to HIV clinics, roughly a third of whom initiated ART, and of those more than 80% were virally suppressed at 9 months. Uptake of male circumcision was almost two-times higher in men who received text message reminders or lay counsellor visits than in those who received standard-of-care clinic referral. Clinic barriers to ART initiation should be addressed in future strategies to increase the proportion of HIV-positive people accessing treatment and achieving viral suppression.