Scaling Up Pediatric HIV Testing by Incorporating Provider-Initiated HIV Testing into All Child Health Services in Hurungwe District, Zimbabwe

December 2017 - In Focus

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Price, J.T., Rosenberg, N.E., Vanisa, D. et al. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (e-publication ahead of print), doi:10.1097/QAI0000000000001567.

This study examined the effectiveness of integrating provider-initiated HIV testing services into pediatric care at 33 facilities in Zimbabwe. The intervention included community awareness raising using village health workers to increase referrals for HIV testing at health facilities. Nurses were also trained to test all children under five years old who had never received HIV testing services, and all children below two years old who had a negative HIV test more than three months prior. All results were recorded in child health booklets. The results showed that 75 percent of children had HIV information in their booklet. Of these, nearly 78 percent were tested and 76 percent had an HIV test result; 1.7 percent were found to be HIV-positive. Children were more likely to be HIV-positive if they were malnourished, were exposed to tuberculosis, or had an HIV-positive mother. The number of children tested for HIV increased by 94 percent during the intervention period; and the number of diagnosed as HIV-positive by 55 percent. The authors concluded that integrating HIV testing within a wide range of pediatric health services is achievable and increases the likelihood of a child receiving and HIV test and being identified as HIV-positive.

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