Objectives: To describe the implementation and results of the linked response (LR) in Cambodia after 18 months of follow-up.
Methods: The main objectives of the LR are to increase access to sexually transmitted infection/HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment and to strengthen existing reproductive health services through increased linkages within and between public health facilities and community-based services. The LR was piloted in Cambodia in 2008, in 2 demonstration projects, covering 5 operational districts. Routine data were collected and analyzed before (2007), during (2008), and after (2009) the implementation of the LR.
Results: Overall in the 5 operational districts, the proportion of pregnant women, tested for HIV increased from 6% (1261 of 21,376) in 2007 to 86% (18394 of 21,478) in 2009. Syphilis testing, introduced early 2009, reached similar (85%) coverage as HIV by the end of 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, reproductive indicators also increased: antenatal care coverage (at least 1 visit) from 80% to 100%, public health facility delivery rates from 26% to 46%, and contraceptive prevalence from 24% to 28%. Antiretroviral uptake was high among HIV-positive mothers and exposed infants, 84% and 95% respectively, and 3 of 36 (8%) infants tested so far for HIV were diagnosed positive. However, 6 maternal (HIV-positive women) and 7 child deaths (1 tested positive) occurred during the pregnancy or the 30-week postpartum follow-up period.
Conclusions: Sexually transmitted infection/HIV indicators and follow-up dramatically improved after the LR was implemented. Efforts should be pursued to further improve quality of health care services.