Recent Publications

Using visual, interactive B-OK bead bottles to support HIV counselling among people living with HIV in KwaZulu Natal province, SA

Affirming and clear messaging is needed to better communicate the benefits of “Undetectable equals untransmissible” (U=U) and other complex HIV-related concepts to HIV care recipients. However, finding clear and relatable ways to communicate these concepts has been difficult. Using a visual health communication tool, called B-OK Bead bottles, healthcare workers (HCWs) can explain complex HIV concepts in any language, to care recipients who have little to no literacy or familiarity with 

Behavioural barriers to using an interactive voice response system for reporting HIV self-testing results in South Africa

HIV self-testing (HIVST) can help increase access to testing and contribute to achieving the UNAIDS 95 95 95 goals. Connecting with those who have used HIVSTs and linking them to prevention and treatment services is crucial. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are a promising solution providing a confidential way for reporting results and linking to care. Our goal was to identify behavioral barriers to using an IVR system for HIV self-testing 

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services delivery preferences of young adults in Gauteng, South Africa

Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective biomedical HIV prevention method that was introduced into South African guidelines in 2016. Despite this, PrEP uptake and persistence remains suboptimal, particularly among high risk populations such as youth between the ages of 18 and 35. In an effort to improve PrEP uptake, several differentiated service delivery models are being designed and introduced. For these to be successful, it is vital to understand what service delivery 

Barriers and facilitators of accessing Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services among young people in Gauteng, South Africa.

Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a novel biomedical intervention that can prevent HIV transmission, and its efficacy has been well established in literature. However, despite its availability, uptake and persistence has been disappointingly low in South Africa. Understanding the factors that influence PrEP uptake is crucial for promoting its use and maximizing its impact on HIV prevention 

Integration of point-of-care screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension into the COVID-19 vaccine programme in Johannesburg, South Africa

Background South Africa grapples with a substantial burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly type 2 diabetes (diabetes) and hypertension. However, these conditions are often underdiagnosed and poorly managed, further exacerbated by the strained primary healthcare (PHC) system and the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrating NCD screening with large-scale healthcare initiatives, such as COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, offers a potential solution, especially in low- 

Costs and cost-effectiveness of treatment setting for children with wasting, oedema and growth failure/faltering: A systematic review

Abstract This systematic review aimed to address the existing evidence gaps, and guide policy decisions on the settings within which to treat infants <12 months of age with growth faltering/failure, and infants and children aged <60 months with moderate wasting or severe wasting and/ or bilateral pitting oedema. Twelve electronic databases were searched for studies published before 10 December 2021. The searches yielded 16,709 records from which 31 studies were eligible and included in 

Prior exposure to antiretroviral therapy among adult patients presenting for HIV treatment initiation or reinitiation in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

Objectives As countries have scaled up access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV, attrition rates of up to 30% annually have created a large pool of individuals who initiate treatment with prior ART experience. Little is known about the proportion of non-naïve reinitiators within the population presenting for treatment 

Process indicators to monitor pre-treatment linkage to care and treatment and impact on treatment outcomes among patients diagnosed with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: In 2019 the WHO released “ShORRT”, a generic protocol to evaluate regimens for rifampicin-resistant (RR-) TB. Using process indicators outlined in “ShORRT,” we describe pre-treatment linkage to care and treatment among patients diagnosed with RR-TB in Johannesburg, South 

“I was scared dating. . . who would take me with my status?”—Living with HIV in the era of UTT and U = U: A qualitative study in Johannesburg, South Africa”

Abstract South Africa rolled out Universal Test-and-Treat (UTT) in 2016, extending treatment eligibility to all persons living with HIV (PLHIV). We sought to understand how PLHIV in Johannesburg, South Africa, interpret and experience their HIV status, five years into the UTT era. In May 2021, we conducted in-depth interviews (IDI) (N = 27) with adult (18 years) PLHIV referred by HIV counsellors at three peri-urban primary healthcare clinics. We also conducted three focus group discussions 

A quantitative assessment of the consistency of projections from fve mathematical models of the HIV epidemic in South Africa: a model comparison study

Mathematical models are increasingly used to inform HIV policy and planning. Comparing estimates obtained using different mathematical models can test the robustness of estimates and highlight research gaps. As part of a larger project aiming to determine the optimal allocation of funding for HIV services, in this study we compare projections from five mathematical models of the HIV epidemic in South Africa: EMOD-HIV, Goals, HIV-Synthesis, Optima, and