Digitally supported HIV self-testing increases facility-based HIV testing capacity in Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

Field Value
Title Digitally supported HIV self-testing increases facility-based HIV testing capacity in Ekurhuleni, South Africa
Creator Mshweshwe-Pakela, Nolundi T. Mabuto, Tonderai Shankland, Luke Fischer, Alex Tsukudu, Dikeledi Hoffmann, Christopher J.
Subject Health; HIV care and management HIV testing; HIV self-testing; facility-based HIV testing; digital support; linkage to ART
Description Background: HIV testing is the first step for linkage to HIV prevention or treatment services. Facility-based HIV testing is the most utilised method, but faces challenges such as limited work space and human resources. Digitally supported HIV self-testing (HIVST) provided in clinics shifts testing to the client, potentially empowering the client, and addresses such constraints.Objectives: The study primary objective was to determine the feasibility of integrating digitally supported HIVST into the clinic. Secondary objectives were to describe HIV testing volume, populations reached, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation.Method: We conducted an analysis of prospectively collected data during implementation of digitally supported HIVST in two healthcare facilities based in South Africa from June 2019 to September 2019. We described implementation and client characteristics using HIVST and compared testing before and during implementation.Results: During the 4-month implementation period there were 35 248 client visits. A total of 6997 (19.9%) of these visits involved HIV testing. Of those testing, 2278 (32.5%) used HIVST. Of the 2267 analysed, 264 (11.6%) were positive: 182 (12%) women and 82 (11%) men. Of those, 230 (95.4%) were confirmed HIV positive and 150 (65%) initiated ART within 14 days. During a four-month pre-implementation period, 14.5% of the clients tested for HIV. Compared to the pre-implementation period, we observed a 25% increase in HIV testing.Conclusion: Digitally supported HIVST increased the number of clients completing HIV testing in the health facility, without a need to significantly increase staff or space. Facility-based digitally assisted HIVST has the potential to increase HIV testing in high HIV prevalence clinic populations.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2022-06-13
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Analysis of prospectively collected data
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajhivmed.v23i1.1352
Source Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine; Vol 23, No 1 (2022); 6 pages 2078-6751 1608-9693
Language eng
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Coverage — — 18-50; females and males; Africans
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Nolundi T. Mshweshwe-Pakela, Tonderai Mabuto, Luke Shankland, Alex Fischer, Dikeledi Tsukudu, Christopher J. Hoffmann