We conducted a pilot of the Modified Antiretroviral Treatment Access Study (MARTAS), a linkage to HIV treatment intervention, prior to implementing a multisite randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Ukraine. The objectives of the pilot were to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the MARTAS intervention among a small sample of adults recently diagnosed with HIV at specialty clinics in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine in 2015. The adapted intervention consisted of up to 6 individual-level sessions with a linkage coordinator (nurse) over a 90-day period. Overall, 22 persons participated in the pilot. On average, participants received 4.2 sessions and 14 participants linked to HIV care within 3 months of study enrollment. All 18 participants who completed the acceptability survey expressed high satisfaction with their interaction with their linkage coordinator. The results of the pilot demonstrated feasibility and acceptability of the MARTAS intervention in advance of a larger scale RCT in Ukraine.
Keywords: HIV; acceptability; case management; feasibility; linkage to HIV care.