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Designing HIV Testing Algorithms Based on 2015 WHO Guidelines Using Data from Six Sites in sub-Saharan Africa

Title: Designing HIV Testing Algorithms Based on 2015 WHO Guidelines Using Data from Six Sites in sub-Saharan Africa Authors: Kosack, C; Shanks, L; Beelaert, G; Benson, T; Savane, A; Ng'ang'a, A; Andre, B; Zahinda, J; Fransen, K; Page, A Abstract: Our objective was to evaluate the performance of HIV testing algorithms based on WHO recommendations, using data from specimens collected at six HIV testing and counselling sites in sub-Saharan Africa (Guinea, Conakry; Kitgum and Arua, Uganda; Homa Bay, Kenya; Douala, Cameroun; Baraka, Democratic Republic of Congo). A total of 2780 samples, including 1306 HIV-positive, were included in the analysis. HIV testing algorithms were designed using Determine as a first test. Second and third rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) were selected based on site-specific performance, adhering where possible to the WHO-recommended minimum requirements of sensitivity and specificity of ≥99%. The threshold for specificity was reduced to 98% or 96% if necessary. We also simulated algorithms consisting of one RDT followed by a simple confirmatory assay. The positive predictive values (PPV) of the simulated algorithms varied from 75.8%-100% using strategies recommended for high-prevalence settings; 98.7%-100% using strategies recommended for low-prevalence settings; and 98.1%-100% using a rapid test followed by a simple confirmatory assay. Although we were able to design algorithms that met the recommended PPV of ≥99% in five of six sites using the applicable high prevalence strategy, options were often very limited due to sub-optimal performance of individual RDTs and to shared false-reactive results. These results underscore the impact of the sequence of HIV tests and of shared false-reactivity on algorithm performance. Where it is not possible to identify tests that meet WHO-recommended specifications, the low-prevalence strategy may be more suitable.

Implications of Differentiated Care for Successful ART Scale-Up in a Concentrated HIV Epidemic in Yangon, Myanmar

Title: Implications of Differentiated Care for Successful ART Scale-Up in a Concentrated HIV Epidemic in Yangon, Myanmar Authors: Mesic, A; Fontaine, J; Aye, T; Greig, J; Thwe, T; Moretó-Planas, L; Kliesckova, J; Khin, K; Zarkua, N; Gonzales, L; Guillergan, E; O’Brien, D Abstract: Introduction: National AIDS Programme in Myanmar has made significant progress in scaling up antiretroviral treatment (ART) services and recognizes the importance of differentiated care for people living with HIV. Indeed, long centred around the hospital and reliant on physicians, the country’s HIV response is undergoing a process of successful decentralization with HIV care increasingly being integrated into other health services as part of a systematic effort to expand access to HIV treatment. This study describes implementation of differentiated care in Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported programmes and reports its outcomes. Methods: A descriptive cohort analysis of adult patients on antiretroviral treatment was performed. We assessed stability of patients as of 31 December 2014 and introduced an intervention of reduced frequency of physicians’ consultations for stable patients, and fast tract ART refills. We measured a number of saved physician’s visits as the result of this intervention. Main outcomes, remained under care, death, lost to follow up, treatment failure, were assessed on 31 December 2015 and reported as rates for different stable groups. Results: On 31 December 2014, our programme counted 16, 272 adult patients enrolled in HIV care, of whom 80.34% were stable. The model allowed for an increase in the average number of patients one medical team could care for – from 745 patients in 2011 to 1, 627 in 2014 – and, thus, a reduction in the number of teams needed. An assessment of stable patients enrolled on ART one year after the implementation of the new model revealed excellent outcomes, aggregated for stable patients as 98.7% remaining in care, 0.4% dead, 0.8% lost to follow-up, 0.8% clinical treatment failure and 5.8% with immunological treatment failure. Conclusions: Implementation of a differentiated model reduced the number of visits between stable clients and physicians, reduced the medical resources required for treatment and enabled integrated treatment of the main co-morbidities. We hope that these findings will encourage other stakeholders to implement innovative models of HIV care in Myanmar, further expediting the scale up of ART services, the decentralization of treatment and the integration of care for the main HIV co-morbidities in this context.

Protection Against Cholera From Killed Whole-Cell Oral Cholera Vaccines: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Title: Protection Against Cholera From Killed Whole-Cell Oral Cholera Vaccines: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Authors: Bi, Q; Ferreras, E; Pezzoli, L; Legros, D; Ivers, L; Date, K; Qadri, F; Digilio, L; Sack, D; Ali, M; Lessler, J; Luquero, F; Azman, A Abstract: Killed whole-cell oral cholera vaccines (kOCVs) are becoming a standard cholera control and prevention tool. However, vaccine efficacy and direct effectiveness estimates have varied, with differences in study design, location, follow-up duration, and vaccine composition posing challenges for public health decision making. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to generate average estimates of kOCV efficacy and direct effectiveness from the available literature.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Prevention Amongst Syrian Refugees: Mixed Methods Study of Médecins Sans Frontières Programme in Jordan

Title: Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Prevention Amongst Syrian Refugees: Mixed Methods Study of Médecins Sans Frontières Programme in Jordan Authors: Collins, D; Jobanputra, K; Frost, T; Muhammed, S; Ward, A; Shafei, A; Fardous, T; Gabashneh, S; Heneghan, C Abstract: The growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) presented new challenges for medical humanitarian aid and little was known about primary health care approaches for these diseases in humanitarian response. We aimed to evaluate Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF's) use of total CVD risk based prevention strategies amongst Syrian refugees in northern Jordan to identify opportunities to improve total CVD risk based guidance for humanitarian settings.

HIV Misdiagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Performance of Diagnostic Algorithms at Six Testing Sites

Title: HIV Misdiagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Performance of Diagnostic Algorithms at Six Testing Sites Authors: Kosack, C; Shanks, L; Beelaert, G; Benson, T; Savane, A; Ng'ang'a, A; Andre, B; Zahinda, J; Fransen, K; Page, A Abstract: We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of HIV testing algorithms at six programmes in five sub-Saharan African countries.

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