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      Community-based point-of-care testing to identify new HIV infections : A cross-sectional study from Pune, India

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          Abstract

          The World Health Organization recommends point-of-care testing (POCT) to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals in the community. This will help improve treatment coverage through detection of HIV infection among those who are unaware of their status.

          This study was planned with an objective to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of POCT for HIV in the community.

          A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in rural and peri-urban areas of Pune, India. These sites were selected based on the distance from the nearest HIV testing center. Testing locations were identified in consultation with the local stakeholders and grass-root health workers to identify and capture the priority population. The POCT was performed on blood samples collected by the finger-prick method.

          The proportion of participants seeking HIV tests for the first time was 79.6% that signifies the feasibility of POCT. The acceptability in the peri-urban and rural areas was 70.2% and 69.7%, respectively. POCT was performed at construction sites (24.9%), nearby industries (16.1%) and parking areas of long-distance trucks (8.1%) in the peri-urban area. Three newly diagnosed HIV-infected participants (0.1%) were detected from the peri-urban areas but none from the rural areas. Two of the newly diagnosed participants and their spouses were linked to care.

          There was a high acceptability of POCT and wider coverage of priority population with a strategy of testing at places preferable to the study population. Therefore, we believe that community-based POCT is a promising tool for improving HIV testing coverage even in low prevalence settings with the concentrated HIV epidemic.

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          Most cited references24

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          Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy.

          Antiretroviral therapy that reduces viral replication could limit the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples. In nine countries, we enrolled 1763 couples in which one partner was HIV-1-positive and the other was HIV-1-negative; 54% of the subjects were from Africa, and 50% of infected partners were men. HIV-1-infected subjects with CD4 counts between 350 and 550 cells per cubic millimeter were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive antiretroviral therapy either immediately (early therapy) or after a decline in the CD4 count or the onset of HIV-1-related symptoms (delayed therapy). The primary prevention end point was linked HIV-1 transmission in HIV-1-negative partners. The primary clinical end point was the earliest occurrence of pulmonary tuberculosis, severe bacterial infection, a World Health Organization stage 4 event, or death. As of February 21, 2011, a total of 39 HIV-1 transmissions were observed (incidence rate, 1.2 per 100 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 1.7); of these, 28 were virologically linked to the infected partner (incidence rate, 0.9 per 100 person-years, 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.3). Of the 28 linked transmissions, only 1 occurred in the early-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.27; P<0.001). Subjects receiving early therapy had fewer treatment end points (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.88; P=0.01). The early initiation of antiretroviral therapy reduced rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1 and clinical events, indicating both personal and public health benefits from such therapy. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; HPTN 052 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00074581.).
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            Systematic review and meta-analysis of community and facility-based HIV testing to address linkage to care gaps in sub-Saharan Africa.

            HIV testing and counselling is the first crucial step for linkage to HIV treatment and prevention. However, despite high HIV burden in sub-Saharan Africa, testing coverage is low, particularly among young adults and men. Community-based HIV testing and counselling (testing outside of health facilities) has the potential to reduce coverage gaps, but the relative impact of different modalities is not well assessed. We conducted a systematic review of HIV testing modalities, characterizing community (home, mobile, index, key populations, campaign, workplace and self-testing) and facility approaches by population reached, HIV positivity, CD4 count at diagnosis and linkage. Of 2,520 abstracts screened, 126 met eligibility criteria. Community HIV testing and counselling had high coverage and uptake and identified HIV-positive people at higher CD4 counts than facility testing. Mobile HIV testing reached the highest proportion of men of all modalities examined (50%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 47-54%) and home with self-testing reached the highest proportion of young adults (66%, 95% CI = 65-67%). Few studies evaluated HIV testing for key populations (commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men), but these interventions yielded high HIV positivity (38%, 95% CI = 19-62%) combined with the highest proportion of first-time testers (78%, 95% CI = 63-88%), indicating service gaps. Community testing with facilitated linkage (for example, counsellor follow-up to support linkage) achieved high linkage to care (95%, 95% CI = 87-98%) and antiretroviral initiation (75%, 95% CI = 68-82%). Expanding home and mobile testing, self-testing and outreach to key populations with facilitated linkage can increase the proportion of men, young adults and high-risk individuals linked to HIV treatment and prevention, and decrease HIV burden.
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              Human immunodeficiency virus transmission at each step of the care continuum in the United States.

              Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission risk is primarily dependent on behavior (sexual and injection drug use) and HIV viral load. National goals emphasize maximizing coverage along the HIV care continuum, but the effect on HIV prevention is unknown.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                MEDI
                Medicine
                Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (Hagerstown, MD )
                0025-7974
                1536-5964
                19 November 2021
                19 November 2021
                : 100
                : 46
                : e27817
                Affiliations
                [a ]ICMR National AIDS Research Institute, Bhosari, Pune, India
                [b ]AIDS Healthcare Foundation, New Delhi, India.
                Author notes
                []Correspondence: Megha Mamulwar, ICMR National AIDS Research Institute, 73, ‘G’-Block, MIDC, Post Box No: 1895, Bhosari, Pune 411 026, India (e-mail: mmamulwar@ 123456nariindia.org ).
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9718-455X
                Article
                MD-D-20-03497 27817
                10.1097/MD.0000000000027817
                8601338
                34797308
                92634bb4-261e-4ff1-ab30-4dc6cb18b1ba
                Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License 4.0 (CCBY-NC), where it is permissible to download, share, remix, transform, and buildup the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

                History
                : 16 April 2020
                : 10 August 2021
                : 29 October 2021
                Funding
                Funded by: AIDS Healthcare foundation, India
                Award ID: no
                Award Recipient : Director, ICMR National AIDS Research Institute
                Categories
                4850
                Research Article
                Observational Study
                Custom metadata
                TRUE

                community,hiv,key population,point-of-care testing,young adults

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