Community-based antiretroviral therapy versus standard clinic-based services for HIV in South Africa and Uganda (DO ART): a randomised trial

SOURCE: Lancet Global Health
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): R.V.Barnabas, A.A.Szpiro, H.Van Rooyen, S.Asiimwe, D.Pillay, N.C.Ware, T.T.Schaafsma, M.L.Krows, A.Van Heerden, P.Joseph, M.Shahmanesh, M.A.Wyatt, K.Sausi, B.Turyamureeba, N.Sithole, S.Morrison, A.E.Shapiro, D.A.Roberts, K.K.Thomas, O.Koole, A.Behrsteyn, P.Ehrenkranz, J.M.Baeten, C.Celum
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES), Public Health, Societies and Belonging (HSC), Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11578
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15476

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Community-based delivery of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV, including ART initiation, clinical and laboratory monitoring, and refills, could reduce barriers to treatment and improve viral suppression, reducing the gap in access to care for individuals who have detectable HIV viral load, including men who are less likely than women to be virally suppressed. We aimed to test the effect of community-based ART delivery on viral suppression among people living with HIV not on ART. We did a household-randomised, unblinded trial (DO ART) of delivery of ART in the community compared with the clinic in rural and peri-urban settings in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and the Sheema District, Uganda. After community-based HIV testing, people living with HIV were randomly assigned (1:1:1) with mobile phone software to community-based ART initiation with quarterly monitoring and ART refills through mobile vans; ART initiation at the clinic followed by mobile van monitoring and refills (hybrid approach); or standard clinic ART initiation and refills. The primary outcome was HIV viral suppression at 12 months. If the difference in viral suppression was not superior between study groups, an a-priori test for non-inferiority was done to test for a relative risk (RR) of more than 0-5. The cost per person virally suppressed was a co-primary outcome of the study.