51 research outputs found

    Manuscript title: Facilitators and barriers to cotrimoxazole prophylaxis among HIV exposed babies: a qualitative study from Harare, Zimbabwe.

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    BACKGROUND: Implementation of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (CTX-p) among HIV-exposed infants (HEI) is poor in southern Africa. We conducted a study to investigate barriers to delivery of CTX-p to HEI in Zimbabwe at each step of the care cascade. Here we report findings of the qualitative component designed to investigate issues related to adherence conducted among women identified as HIV positive whose babies were started on CTX-p postnatally. Of note, Zimbabwe also provided nevirapine prophylaxis for HIV exposed babies, so the majority were giving nevirapine and CTX-p to their babies. METHODS: Between Feb-Dec 2011, the first 20 HIV infected mothers identified were invited for in-depth interview 4-5months postnatally. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, translated and analysed thematically. RESULTS: All women desired their baby's health above all else, and were determined to do all they could to ensure their wellbeing. They did not report problems remembering to give drugs. The baby's apparent good health was a huge motivator for continued adherence. However, most women reported that their husbands were less engaged in HIV care, refusing to be HIV tested and in some cases stealing drugs prescribed for their wives for themselves. In two instances the man stopped the woman from giving CTX-p to the baby either because of fear of side effects or not appreciating its importance. Stigma continues to be an important issue. Mothers reported being reluctant to disclose their HIV status to other people so found it difficult to collect prescription refills from the HIV clinic for fear of being seen by friends/relatives. Some women reported that it was hard to administer the drugs if there were people around at home. Other challenges faced were stock-outs of CTX-p at the clinic, which occurred three times in 2011. The baby would then go without CTX-p if the woman could not afford buying at a private pharmacy. CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights that adherence knowledge and desire alone is insufficient to overcome the familial and structural barriers to maintaining CTX-p. Improving adherence to CTX-p among HEI will require interventions to improve male involvement, reduce HIV stigma in communities and ensure adequate supply of drugs

    "Well, not me, but other women do not register because..."- Barriers to seeking antenatal care in the context of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among Zimbabwean women: a mixed-methods study.

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    BACKGROUND: While barriers to uptake of antenatal care (ANC) among pregnant women have been explored, much less is known about how integrating prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes within ANC services affects uptake. We explored barriers to uptake of integrated ANC services in a poor Zimbabwean community. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among post-natal women at Mbare Clinic, Harare, between September 2010 and February 2011. Collected data included participant characteristics and ANC uptake. Logistic regression was conducted to determine factors associated with ANC registration. In-depth interviews were held with the first 21 survey participants who either did not register or registered after twenty-four weeks gestation to explore barriers. Interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-nine participants (mean age 26.1 years) were surveyed. They came from ultra-poor households, with mean household income of US181.Only229(76.6181. Only 229 (76.6%) had registered for ANC, at a mean gestation of 29.5 weeks. In multivariable analysis, household income was positively associated with ANC registration, odds ratio (OR) for a 10-increase in household income 1.02 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.0-1.04), as was education which interacted with having planned the pregnancy (OR for planned pregnancy with completed ordinary level education 3.27 (95%CI 1.55-6.70). Divorced women were less likely to register than married women, OR 0.20 (95%CI 0.07-0.58). In the qualitative study, barriers to either ANC or PMTCT services limited uptake of integrated services. Women understood the importance of integrated services for PMTCT purposes and theirs and the babies' health and appeared unable to admit to barriers which they deemed "stupid/irresponsible", namely fear of HIV testing and disrespectful treatment by nurses. They represented these commonly recurring barriers as challenges that "other women" faced. The major proffered personal barrier was unaffordability of user fees, which was sometimes compounded by unsupportive husbands who were the breadwinners. CONCLUSION: Women who delayed/did not register were aware of the importance of ANC and PMTCT but were either unable to afford or afraid to register. Addressing the identified challenges will not only be important for integrated PMTCT/ANC services but will also provide a model for dealing with challenges as countries scale up 'treat all' approaches

    Did you hear about HIV self-testing? HIV self-testing awareness after community-based HIVST distribution in rural Zimbabwe

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    Background: Several trials of community-based HIV self-testing (HIVST) provide evidence on the acceptability and feasibility of campaign-style distribution to reach first-time testers, men and adolescents. However, we do not know how many remain unaware of HIVST after distribution campaigns, and who these individuals are. Here we look at factors associated with never having heard of HIVST after community-based campaign-style HIVST distribution in rural Zimbabwe between September 2016 and July 2017. Methods: Analysis of representative population-based trial survey data collected from 7146 individuals following community-based HIVST distribution to households was conducted. Factors associated with having never heard of HIVST were determined using multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression adjusted for clustered design. Results: Among survey participants, 1308 (18.3%) self-reported having never heard of HIVST. Individuals who were between 20 and 60 years old {20–29 years: [aOR = 0.74, 95% CI (0.58–0.95)], 30–39 years: [aOR = 0.56, 95% CI (0.42–0.74)], 40–49 years: [aOR = 0.50, 95% CI (0.36–0.68)], 50–59 years [aOR = 0.58, 95% CI (0.42–0.82)]}, who had attained at least ordinary level education [aOR = 0.51, 95% CI (0.34–0.76)], and who had an HIV test before [aOR = 0.30, 95% CI (0.25–0.37)] were less likely to have never heard of HIVST compared with individuals who were between 16 and 19 years old, who had a lower educational level and who had never tested for HIV before, respectively. In addition, non-household heads or household head representatives [aOR = 1.21, 95% CI (1.01–1.45)] were more likely to report never having heard of HIVST compared to household head and representatives. Conclusions: Around one fifth of survey participants remain unaware of HIVST even after an intensive community-based door-to-door HIVST distribution. Of note, those least likely to have heard of self-testing were younger, less educated and less likely to have tested previously. Household heads appear to play an important role in granting or denying access to self-testing to other household members during door-to-door distribution. Differentiated distribution models are needed to ensure access to all

    Using research networks to generate trustworthy qualitative public health research findings from multiple contexts

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    Background: Qualitative research networks (QRNs) bring together researchers from diverse contexts working on multi-country studies. The networks may themselves form a consortium or may contribute to a wider research agenda within a consortium with colleagues from other disciplines. The purpose of a QRN is to ensure robust methods and processes that enable comparisons across contexts. Under the Self-Testing Africa (STAR) initiative and the REACHOUT project on community health systems, QRNs were established, bringing together researchers across countries to coordinate multi-country qualitative research and to ensure robust methods and processes allowing comparisons across contexts. QRNs face both practical challenges in facilitating this iterative exchange process across sites and conceptual challenges interpreting findings between contexts. This paper distils key lessons and reflections from both QRN experiences on how to conduct trustworthy qualitative research across different contexts with examples from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Methods: The process of generating evidence for this paper followed a thematic analysis method: themes initially identified were refined during several rounds of discussions in an iterative process until final themes were agreed upon in a joint learning process. Results: Four guiding principles emerged from our analysis: a) explicit communication strategies that sustain dialogue and build trust and collective reflexivity; b) translation of contextually embedded concepts; c) setting parameters for contextualizing, and d) supporting empirical and conceptual generalisability. Under each guiding principle, we describe how credibility, dependability, confirmability and transferability can be enhanced and share good practices to be considered by other researchers. Conclusions: Qualitative research is often context-specific with tools designed to explore local experiences and understandings. Without efforts to synthesise and systematically share findings, common understandings, experiences and lessons are missed. The logistical and conceptual challenges of qualitative research across multiple partners and contexts must be actively managed, including a shared commitment to continuous ‘joint learning’ by partners. Clarity and agreement on concepts and common methods and timelines at an early stage is critical to ensure alignment and focus in intercountry qualitative research and analysis processes. Building good relationships and trust among network participants enhance the quality of qualitative research findings. Keywords: Qualitative research, Research networks, trustworthiness, Generalisable research, Research guiding principles, Research good practice

    Values and preferences of contraceptive methods: a mixed-methods study among sex workers from diverse settings

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    There is limited information on contraceptive values and preferences of sex workers. We conducted a mixed-method study to explore contraceptive values and preferences among sex workers. We conducted an online survey with individuals from 38 countries (n = 239), 6 focus group discussions (FGD, n = 68) in Zimbabwe, and 12 in-depth phone interviews (IDI) across 4 world regions, in June and July of 2019. Participants were asked about awareness of contraceptives, methods they had used in the past, and the determinants of their choices. Differences between respondents from high-, low- and middle- income countries were examined. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Survey participants reported an awareness of modern contraceptive methods. FGDs found that younger women had lower awareness. Reports of condomless sex were common and modern contraceptive use was inconsistent. Determinants of contraceptive choices differed by setting according to results of the survey, FGD, and IDI. Regardless of country income level, determinants of contraceptive choices included ease of use, ease of access to a contraceptive method, and fewer side effects. Healthcare provider attitudes, availability of methods, and clinic schedules were important considerations. Most sex workers are aware of contraceptives, but barriers include male partners/clients, side effects, and health syste

    Preferences for oral-fluid-based or blood-based HIV self-testing and provider-delivered testing: an observational study among different populations in Zimbabwe

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    Background There is limited data on client preferences for different HIV self-testing (HIVST) and provider-delivered testing options and associated factors. We explored client preferences for oral-fluid-based self-testing (OFBST), bloodbased self-testing (BBST) and provider-delivered blood-based testing (PDBBT) among different populations. Methods At clinics providing HIV testing services to general populations (1 urban, 1 rural clinic), men seeking voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC, 1 clinic), and female sex workers (FSW, 1 clinic), clients had the option to test using OFBST, BBST or PDBBT. A pre-test questionnaire collected information on demographics and testing history. Two weeks after collecting a self-test kit, participants responded to a questionnaire. We used logistic regression to determine predictors of choices. We also conducted 20 in-depth interviews to contextualise quantitative findings. Results May to June 2019, we recruited 1244 participants of whom 249 (20%), 251 (20%), 244 (20%) and 500 (40%) were attending urban general, rural, VMMC and FSW clinics, respectively. Half (n = 619, 50%) chose OFBST, 440 (35%) and 185 (15%) chose BBST and PDBBT, respectively. In multivariable analysis comparing those choosing HIVST (OFBST and BBST combined) versus not, those who had never married aOR 0.57 (95% CI 0.34–0.93) and those previously married aOR0.56 (0.34–0.93) were less likely versus married participants to choose HIVST. HIVST preference increased with education, aOR 2.00 (1.28–3.13), 2.55 (1.28–5.07), 2.76 (1.48–5.14) for ordinary, advanced and tertiary education, respectively versus none/primary education. HIVST preference decreased with age aOR 0.97 (0.96–0.99). Urban participants were more likely than rural ones to choose HIVST, aOR 9.77 (5.47–17.41), 3.38 (2.03–5.62) and 2.23 (1.38–3.61) for FSW, urban general and VMMC clients, respectively. Comparing those choosing OFBST with those choosing BBST, less literate participants were less likely to choose oral fluid tests, aOR 0.29 (0.09–0.92). Conclusions Most testing clients opted for OFBST, followed by BBST and lastly, PDBBT. Those who self-assessed as less healthy were more likely to opt for PDBBT which likely facilitated linkage. Results show importance of continued provision of all strategies in order to meet needs of different populations, and may be useful to inform both HIVST kit stock projections and tailoring of HIVST programs to meet the needs of different populations

    Effect of non-monetary incentives on uptake of couples’ counselling and testing among clients attending mobile HIV services in rural Zimbabwe: a cluster-randomised trial

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    Background Couples' HIV testing and counselling (CHTC) is associated with greater engagement with HIV prevention and care than individual testing and is cost-effective, but uptake remains suboptimal. Initiating discussion of CHTC might result in distrust between partners. Offering incentives for CHTC could change the focus of the pre-test discussion. We aimed to determine the impact of incentives for CHTC on uptake of couples testing and HIV case diagnosis in rural Zimbabwe. Methods In this cluster-randomised trial, 68 rural communities (the clusters) in four districts receiving mobile HIV testing services were randomly assigned (1:1) to incentives for CHTC or not. Allocation was not masked to participants and researchers. Randomisation was stratified by district and proximity to a health facility. Within each stratum random permutation was done to allocate clusters to the study groups. In intervention communities, residents were informed that couples who tested together could select one of three grocery items worth US$1·50. Standard mobilisation for testing was done in comparison communities. The primary outcome was the proportion of individuals testing with a partner. Analysis was by intention to treat. 3 months after CHTC, couple-testers from four communities per group individually completed a telephone survey to evaluate any social harms resulting from incentives or CHTC. The effect of incentives on CHTC was estimated using logistic regression with random effects adjusting for clustering. The trial was registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry, number PACTR201606001630356. Findings From May 26, 2015, to Jan 29, 2016, of 24 679 participants counselled with data recorded, 14 099 (57·1%) were in the intervention group and 10 580 (42·9%) in the comparison group. 7852 (55·7%) testers in the intervention group versus 1062 (10·0%) in the comparison group tested with a partner (adjusted odds ratio 13·5 [95% CI 10·5–17·4]). Among 427 (83·7%) of 510 eligible participants who completed the telephone survey, 11 (2·6%) reported that they were pressured or themselves pressured their partner to test together; none regretted couples' testing. Relationship unrest was reported by eight individuals (1·9%), although none attributed this to incentives. Interpretation Small non-monetary incentives, which are potentially scalable, were associated with significantly increased CHTC and HIV case diagnosis. Incentives did not increase social harms beyond the few typically encountered with CHTC without incentives. The intervention could help achieve UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets

    HIV self-testing services for female sex workers, Malawi and Zimbabwe

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    OBJECTIVE: To present findings from implementation and scale-up of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-testing programmes for female sex workers in Malawi and Zimbabwe, 2013-2018. METHODS: In Zimbabwe, we carried out formative research to assess the acceptability and accuracy of HIV self-testing. During implementation we evaluated sex workers' preferences for, and feasibility of, distribution of test kits before the programme was scaled-up. In Malawi, we conducted a rapid ethnographic assessment to explore the context and needs of female sex workers and resources available, leading to a workshop to define the distribution approach for test kits. Once distribution was implemented, we conducted a process evaluation and established a system for monitoring social harm. FINDINGS: In Zimbabwe, female sex workers were able to accurately self-test. The preference study helped to refine systems for national scale-up through existing services for female sex workers. The qualitative data helped to identify additional distribution strategies and mediate potential social harm to women. In Malawi, peer distribution of test kits was the preferred strategy. We identified some incidents of social harm among peer distributors and female sex workers, as well as supply-side barriers to implementation which hindered uptake of testing. CONCLUSION: Involving female sex workers in planning and ongoing implementation of HIV self-testing is essential, along with strategies to mitigate potential harm. Optimal strategies for distribution and post-test support are context-specific and need to consider existing support for female sex workers and levels of trust and cohesion within their communities
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