Improved Viral Suppression With Streamlined Care in the SEARCH Study

Hickey, Matthew, et al


HIV differentiated service delivery (DSD) models are scaling up in resource-limited settings for stable patients; less is known about DSD outcomes for patients with viremia. We evaluated the effect on viral suppression (VS) of a streamlined care DSD model implemented in the SEARCH randomized universal test and treat trial in rural Uganda and Kenya.


We included HIV-infected adults at baseline (2013) who were country guideline antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligible (prior ART experience or CD4 ≤ 350) with ≥1 HIV clinic visit between 2013 and 2017 in SEARCH communities randomized to intervention (N = 16) or control (N = 16). We assessed the effect of streamlined care in intervention community clinics (patient-centered care, increased appointment spacing, improved clinic access, reminders, and tracking) on VS at 3 years. Analysis was stratified by the baseline care status: ART-experienced with viremia, ART-naïve with CD4 ≤ 350, or ART-experienced with VS.


Among 6190 ART-eligible persons in care, year 3 VS was 90% in intervention and 87% in control arms (RR 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.06). Among ART-experienced persons with baseline viremia, streamlined care was associated with higher VS (67% vs 47%, RR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.91). Among ART-naïve persons, VS was not significantly higher with streamlined care (83% vs 79%, RR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.95 to 1.16). Among ART-experienced persons with baseline VS, nearly all remained virally suppressed in both arms (97% vs 95%, RR 1.01, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.03).


Streamlined care was associated with higher viral suppression among ART-experienced patients with viremia in this randomized evaluation of ART-eligible patients who were in care after universal HIV testing.

January 21, 2021
Year of publication
Resource types
Journal and research articles
differentiated models of care, retention in care, retention interventions, viral suppression

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