To successfully link to care, persons living with HIV must negotiate a complex series of processes from HIV diagnosis through initial engagement with HIV care systems and providers. Despite the complexity involved, linkage to care is often oversimplified and portrayed as a single referral step. In this article, we offer a new conceptual framework for linkage to care, tailored to the current universal test and treat era that presents linkage to care as its own nuanced pathway within the larger HIV care cascade. Conceptualizing linkage to care in this way may help better identify and specify processes posing a barrier to linkage, and allow for the development of targeted implementation and behavioral science-based approaches to address them. Such approaches are likely to be most relevant to programmatic and clinical settings with limited resources and high HIV burden.
There is increasing interest in home-based testing and treatment of HIV to expand access to treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Such programs rely on self-reported HIV history and use of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
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.