But as is the case in many countries, the progress was greater with adult women than with men (91% vs 79%). By comparison, among adolescents 10-19 years of age, only 70% of females and 66% of males knew their HIV status.
Progress towards the second 90 was slower, but also impressive. It was estimated that among Zambians that know their HIV status, 82% are on ART. Males aged 20-24 years were the slowest group to be linked to care, whilst females in this age group had similar linkage rates to adults. Interestingly, older men got themselves into care quicker than other groups.
PopART (HPTN 071) involves delivering a universal testing and treatment intervention at scale, covering 60,000 people in Zambia and South Africa. In addition to strengthening all current routine HIV prevention and treatment services in the selected communities, a novel cadre of staff, Community HIV-care Providers (CHiPs), have been deployed at household level to conduct counselling and testing, linkage to care and a range of prevention services.
Dr Kwame Shanaube presented the findings from P-ART-Y, which included a total of 18,040 adolescents aged 10-14 years.
Qualitative research on the experiences of adolescents living with HIV found that they were strongly motivated to adhere to treatment by past illness (their own or family members). Challenges in linkage to care included long queues at the clinic, which they feared exposed them to stigma.
The study found that CHiPs played a critical role in counselling, clinic assistance and ART adherence. For example, the proportion of adolescents who knew their HIV status increased from 28% to 89% among those that accepted the CHiPs intervention.
*PopART for Youth
PopART Presentations at AIDS2017. Link...
ZambART website. Link...
Community intervention improves knowledge of HIV status of adolescents in Zambia: findings from HPTN 071-PopART for youth study.
Shanaube et al. AIDS 2017, Jul 1.Read...