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AAS Open Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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AAS Open Research
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2515-9321
Published by African Academy of Sciences Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Stigma-directed services (Stig2Health) to improve ‘linkage to care’
           for people living with HIV in rural Tanzania: study protocol for a nested
           pre-post implementation study within the Kilombero and Ulanga
           Antiretroviral Cohort [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]

    • Authors: Raphael Magnolini, Elizabeth Senkoro, Aneth Vedastus Kalinjuma, Olivia Kitau, Bernard Kivuma, Leila Samson, Anna Eichenberger, Getrud Joseph Mollel, Eileen Krinke, James Okuma, Robert Ndege, Tracy Glass, Herry Mapesi, Fiona Vanobberghen, Manuel Battegay, Maja Weisser
      Abstract: Background: HIV-related stigma is a major barrier to the timely linkage and retention of patients in HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa, where most people living with HIV/AIDS reside. In this implementation study we aim to evaluate the effect of stigma-directed services on linkage to care and other health outcomes in newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients. Methods: In a nested project of the Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort in rural Tanzania, we conduct a prospective observational pre-post study to assess the impact of a bundle of stigma-directed services for newly diagnosed HIV positive patients. Stigma-directed services, delivered by a lay person living with HIV, are i) post-test counseling, ii) post-test video-assisted teaching, iii) group support therapy and group health education, and iv) mobile health. Patients receiving stigma services (enrolled from 1st February 2020 to 31st August 2021) are compared to a historical control receiving the standard of care (enrolled from 1st July 2017 to 1st February 2019). The primary outcome is ‘linkage to care’. Secondary endpoints are retention in care, viral suppression, death and clinical failure at 6-12 months (up to 31st August 2022). Self-reported stigma and depression are assessed using the Berger Stigma scale and the PHQ-9 questionnaire, respectively. The sample size calculation was based on cohort data from 2018. Assuming a pre-intervention cohort of 511 newly diagnosed adults of whom 346 (68%) were in care and on antiretroviral treatment (ART) at 2 months, a 10% increase in linkage (from 70 to 80%), a two-sided type I error rate of 5%, and 90% power, 321 adults are required for the post-implementation group. Discussion: We expect that integration of stigma-directed services leads to an increase of proportions of patients in care and on ART. The findings will provide guidance on how to integrate stigma-directed services into routine care in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
      PubDate: 2022-08-05T09:39:33Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13353.2
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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