TECHNICAL AREAS
Community-based programming
HIV testing, care, and treatment
Key populations
 
RESEARCH PARTNERS
Population Council
Jhpiego
National Institute for Medical Research
 
LOCATIONS
Mbeya and Njombe regions, Tanzania
 
STUDY DURATION
2016-2018
 
CONTACT
Lung Vu, Population Council

Assessment of a Community-based HIV Treatment Service Delivery Model on Linkages to and Retention in HIV Care among Female Sex Workers in Tanzania

©CSK Research Solutions

 
The issue
Female sex workers (FSWs) living with HIV face significant challenges in accessing HIV care and treatment services and once started on antiretroviral treatment (ART), remaining in care and adhering to treatment. These challenges include difficulty in attending regular medical appointments because of time and cost constraints, providers’ stigmatizing attitudes, and poor service quality due to crowded ART clinics, long waiting times, and a lack of clinicians.
 
Our approach
Project SOAR, Jhpiego, the National AIDS Control Programme, and National Institute for Medical Research are designing, implementing, and evaluating a community-based model of ART delivery to help mitigate these barriers. Specifically, HIV care and ART provision are being provided by clinicians at community-based HIV testing and counseling sites for FSWs, which also provide HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services. Using a mixed-method, quasi-experimental design, the study is assessing the effect of the intervention on HIV care and treatment outcomes, including ART initiation, retention, and viral suppression. We are following study participants and measuring biomedical, behavioral, and psychosocial outcomes at 6 and 12 months after enrollment. Additionally, we are collecting costing data to estimate the average annual ART-related cost per patient and exploring factors contributing to variations in treatment costs.
 
The impact
Results will inform the Government of Tanzania, the National AIDS Control Programme, U. S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other stakeholders about the effectiveness of ART delivery to FSWs at the community level and the value of HIV service integration.