Returning HIV-1 Viral Load Results to Participant-Selected Health Facilities in National Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Household Surveys in Three Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2015 to 2016

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Saito S. et al. JIAS (2017), 20(S7): e25004. doi:10.1002/jia2.25004.

Logistical complexities of returning laboratory test results to participants have precluded most population-based HIV surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa from doing so. For HIV-positive participants, this presents a missed opportunity for engagement into clinical care and improvement in health outcomes. The Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) surveys, which measure HIV incidence and the prevalence of viral load (VL) suppression in selected African countries, are returning VL results to health facilities (specified by each HIV positive participant) within eight weeks of collection. The PHIA Project surveys described in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia demonstrated that returning VL results in the context of a national population-based survey is feasible, but requires establishing specimen and data management systems to allow for tracking each participant result to ensure timely return as specified in the survey protocols.