Assessing the Implementation of Facility-Based HIV Testing Policies in Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania from 2013–2018: Findings from SHAPE-UTT Study

Journal Article
  • Lameck B. Luwanda
  • Seema Vyas
  • John Songo
  • Rujeko Samanthia Chimukuche
  • Estelle McLean
  • Farida Hassan
  • Erik Schouten
  • Jim Todd
  • Eveline Geubbels
  • Alison Wringe
  • Jenny Renju
Global Public Health
May 2020; 1-15. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2020.1763420.

ABSTRACT

National HIV testing policies aim to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who know their status. National HIV testing policies were reviewed for each country from 2013 to 2018, and compared with WHO guidance. Three rounds of health facility surveys were conducted to assess facility level policy implementation in Karonga (Malawi), uMkhanyakude (South Africa), and Ifakara (Tanzania). A policy "implementation" score was developed and applied to each facility by site for each round. Most HIV testing policies were explicit and aligned with WHO recommendations. Policies about service coverage, access, and quality of care were implemented in >80% of facilities per site and per round. However, linkage to care and the provision of outreach HIV testing for key populations were poorly implemented. The proportion of facilities reporting HIV test kit stock-outs in the past year reduced over the study period in all sites, but still occurred in ≥17% of facilities per site by 2017. The implementation score improved over time in Karonga and Ifakara and declined slightly in uMkhanyakude. Efforts are needed to address HIV test kit stock-outs and to improve linkage to care among people testing positive in order to reach the 90-90-90 targets.