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Clinical Trial Summary

Despite increased HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection testing in Africa, many patients never enroll in subsequent HIV care after testing or remain in care after an initial enrollment. This study's aim is to improve linkage to HIV care and retention in HIV care through the use of feasible, evidence-based, and practical interventions. The study takes place in Swaziland, the country with the highest HIV prevalence (24%) in sub-Saharan Africa. The study will randomize groups of HIV testing sites and affiliated clinics to either standard of care or a combined intervention strategy (CIS) which consists of point-of care CD4 (cluster differentiation 4 (CD4)) testing at time of HIV testing, fast-track HIV medications for those who are eligible for treatment,mobile phone appointment reminders, care bags filled with health prevention materials, and financial incentives. The study outcomes are linkage to and retention in care as well as cost effectiveness, feasibility of interventions, and patient acceptability of interventions.

Clinical Trial Description

Linkage of patients from HIV testing to HIV care programs and their retention once enrolled in care are essential to HIV program effectiveness in terms of prevention of HIV;related morbidity and mortality and prevention of HIV transmission. Linkage and retention rates in HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are suboptimal, with less than half of patients who test positive successfully linking and remaining in care at 1 year. This study is a two-arm cluster site;randomized trial to compare the effectiveness of a novel combination package of evidence;based interventions, the combination intervention strategy (CIS), compared to standard of care (SOC) on linkage and retention of HIV;positive patients from point of testing to retention in care. CIS will include 1) point of care CD4+ count assays at HIV testing sites; 2) accelerated antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation for eligible patients; 3) provision of a basic care and prevention package (BCPP); 4) short message service (SMS) reminders for clinic appointments; and 5) financial incentives for linkage and retention. The primary aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of CIS as compared to SOC on the combined outcome of rapid linkage to HIV care within 1 month and retention in care at 12 months among adults testing positive for HIV. Secondary aims include evaluation of the effectiveness of CIS compared to SOC on each of linkage to HIV; retention in care; time to ART initiation; HIV disease progression and mortality; patient acceptability; association between baseline characteristics and outcomes, and comparison of cost effectiveness. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT01904994
Study type Interventional
Source Columbia University
Status Active, not recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date August 2013
Completion date October 2019

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