In our 8th issue of our Research Digest, we have assembled 64 abstracts published from March through April 2019 that feature evidence from Botswana (2), Eswatini (2), Lesotho (2), Malawi (12), Mozambique (4), Namibia (1), South Africa (32), Tanzania (3), Zambia (11) and Zimbabwe (14).
INTRODUCTION: HIV self-testing (HIVST) provides couples and individuals with a discreet, convenient and empowering testing option. As with all HIV testing, potential harms must be anticipated and mitigated to optimize individual and public health benefits.
Increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy and transitioning onto second-line regimens. However, there is a dearth of research on their treatment experiences. We conducted in-depth interviews with 43 PLHIV on second- or third-line antiretroviral therapy and 15 HIV health workers in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique to explore patients' and health workers' perspectives on these transitions.
In the ART era, CAP in Malawi remains predominantly HIV-associated with a large proportion attributable to potentially vaccine-preventable pathogens. Strategies to increase early detection and treatment of tuberculosis and improve supportive care, in particular the correction of hypoxaemia, should be evaluated in clinical trials to address CAP-associated mortality.
In sub-Saharan Africa, harmful alcohol use among male drinkers is high and has deleterious consequences on adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV clinical outcomes, and couple relationship dynamics.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among people living with HIV is elevated due to persistent inflammation, hypertension and diabetes comorbidity, lifestyle factors and exposure to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Data from Africa on how CVD risk affects morbidity and mortality among ART patients are lacking. We explored the effect of CVD risk factors and the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) on medium-term ART outcomes.
This study aimed to explore the perceptions and opinions of female school teachers and health workers on HIV-protective benefits of male circumcision and its impact on risk compensatory behaviour among women in Malawi.
Since June 2016, the national HIV programme in Malawi has adopted Universal Test and Treat (UTT) guidelines requiring that all persons who test HIV positive will be referred to start antiretroviral therapy (ART). Although there is strong evidence from clinical trials that early initiation of ART leads to reduced morbidity and mortality, the impact of UTT on retention on ART in real-life programmatic settings in Africa is not yet known.
Men's relatively low rates of HIV testing has been termed the 'HIV blind spot' and recently declared by UNAIDS as a top priority. This study uses data from five nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to explore factors associated with men's lifetime HIV testing.
Couples HIV testing and counseling (couple counseling) promotes safer sexual behaviors, increases communication between couples, and decreases HIV transmission. However, the impact of couple counseling on social support, critical for persons living with HIV, has not been examined.