Improvements in pediatric and adolescent HIV testing and identification in western Kenya under the Accelerating Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment initiative

AIDS Care. 2022 Feb;34(2):250-262. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2021.1909694. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Abstract

Pediatric HIV remains a significant global concern, with 160,000 new infections annually. Accelerating Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) provided a strategic response to the "treatment gap" for children. We examined whether activities under ACT increased testing and identification of youth living with HIV (YLWH). Family AIDS Care & Education Services implemented ACT across 130 health facilities in western Kenya between October 2015 and September 2016, providing: HIV-testing counselors and space; training on the Family Information Table (FIT) and chart audits; community outreach testing; and text message reminders for pregnant women. We analyzed the number of youths tested and identified with HIV over time and between intervention and control sites using interrupted time series analysis. We tested 268,312 youths (7,183 infants <18 months; 145,833 children 18 months to 9 years; and 115,296 adolescents 10-14 years). Mean monthly number tested per health facility increased from 2.8 to 7.2 (p < 0.0001) in infants, 44.8-142.0 (p < 0.0001) in children, and 30.1-123.3 (p < 0.0001) in adolescents. Mean monthly number identified with HIV per facility increased from 0.06 to 0.37 (p < 0.0001) in infants; 0.34-0.62 (p = 0.008) in children; and 0.17-0.26 (p = 0.04) in adolescents, resulting in 1,328 diagnoses. Among infants, FIT training was associated with increased HIV testing over time, incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 3.85 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.16-6.84; p < 0.0001). Text messaging increased testing, IRR = 2.10 (95% CI 1.57-2.80; p < 0.0001) and identification of HIV in infants, IRR = 1.83 (95% CI 1.06-3.18; p = 0.0381) and older children, IRR = 2.25 (95% CI 1.62, 3.13; p < 0.0001). Chart audits increased testing over time among adolescents (IRR = 2.11; 95% CI 1.21-3.66; p = 0.0082). Outreach was associated with identification of adolescents with HIV, IRR = 1.58 (95% CI 1.22-2.06; p = 0.0005). In lower-income settings, targeted interventions effective at reaching YLWH can help optimize resource allocation to address gaps in testing and identification to further reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: HIV infections/diagnosis; Kenya; adolescent; child; infant; testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Testing
  • Health Facilities
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy