They are likely to be there: using a family-centered index testing approach to identify children living with HIV in Kenya

Int J STD AIDS. 2020 Oct;31(11):1028-1033. doi: 10.1177/0956462420926344. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Abstract

In Kenya, only half of children with a parent living with HIV have been tested for HIV. The effectiveness of family-centered index testing to identify children (0-14 years) living with HIV was examined. A retrospective record review was conducted among adult index patients newly enrolled in HIV care between May and July 2015; family testing, results, and linkage to treatment outcomes were followed through May 2016 at 60 high-volume clinics in Kenya. Chi square test compared yield (percentage of HIV tests positive) among children tested through family-centered index testing, outpatient and inpatient testing. Review of 1937 index client charts led to 3005 eligible children identified for testing. Of 2848 (94.8%) children tested through family-centered index testing, 127 (4.5%) had HIV diagnosed, 100 (78.7%) were linked to care, and 85 of those eligible (91.4%) initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART).Family testing resulted in higher yield compared to inpatient (1.8%, p < 0.001) or outpatient testing (1.6%, p < 0.001). The absolute number of children living with HIV identified was highest with outpatient testing. The relative contribution of testing approach to total children identified with HIV was outpatient testing (69%), family testing (26%), and inpatient testing (5%). The family testing approach demonstrated promise in achieving the first two "90s" (identification and ART initiation) of the 90-90-90 targets for children, with additional effort required to improve linkage from testing to treatment.

Keywords: Africa; HIV; diagnosis; screening; treatment.