Recent Publications

A Clinical Prediction Score Including Trial of Antibiotics and C-Reactive Protein to Improve the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Ambulatory People With HIV

Background. The use of a “trial of antibiotics” as empiric therapy for bacterial pneumonia as a diagnostic tool for tuberculosis in people with HIV (PWH) was removed from World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations in 2007, based on expert opinion. Current guidelines recommend antibiotics only after 2 Xpert MTB/RIF tests (if available), chest x-ray, and clinical assessment have suggested that tuberculosis is unlikely. Despite this, a “trial of antibiotics” remains common in 

PS-SiZer map to investigate significant features of body-weight profile changes in HIV infected patients in the IeDEA Collaboration

We extend the method of Significant Zero Crossings of Derivatives (SiZer) to address within-subject correlations of repeatedly collected longitudinal biomarker data and the computational aspects of the methodology when analyzing massive biomarker databases. SiZer is a powerful visualization tool for exploring structures in curves by mapping areas where the first derivative is increasing, decreasing or does not change (plateau) thus exploring changes and normalization of biomarkers in the 

Will differentiated care for stable HIV patients reduce healthcare systems costs?

Introduction: South Africa’s National Department of Health launched the National Adherence Guidelines for Chronic Diseases in 2015. These guidelines include adherence clubs (AC) and decentralized medication delivery (DMD) as two differentiated models of care for stable HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy. While the adherence guidelines do not suggest that provider costs (costs to the healthcare system for medications, laboratory tests and visits to clinics or alternative locations) for 

“Patients are not the same, so we cannot treat them the same” – A qualitative content analysis of provider, patient and implementer perspectives on differentiated service delivery models for HIV treatment in South Africa

Abstract Introduction: In 2014, the South African government adopted a differentiated service delivery (DSD) model in its “National Adherence Guidelines for Chronic Diseases (HIV, TB and NCDs)” (AGL) to strengthen the HIV care cascade. We describe the barriers and facilitators of the AGL implementation as experienced by various stakeholders in eight intervention and control sites across four districts. Methods: Embedded within a cluster-randomized evaluation of the AGL, we conducted 48 

Educational antimicrobial stewardship programs in medical schools: a scoping review protocol

Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to identify the available evidence on antimicrobial stewardship programs for teaching medical students about rational antimicrobial use, including the content taught and the method of instruction used. Introduction: Antibiotics are life-saving drugs and their discovery is one of the most important advances of the 20th century. They have transformed modern medicine by playing a critical role in the management of infectious diseases. However, 

Volunteering, health and the homeless – the cost of establishing a student-run primary healthcare clinic serving the innercity homeless in South Africa

Abstract Background: Those who are homeless are more prone to communicable, respiratory and cardiovascular  diseases and are less likely to access healthcare services. In South Africa there are no specific public healthcare services tailored to the needs of these communities, particularly if they are immigrants. Trinity Health Services is a student- run inner-city clinic providing free healthcare to the homeless of Johannesburg, South Africa. The clinic operates two nights per month and 

Trends in CD4 and viral load testing 2005 to 2018: multi-cohort study of people living with HIV in Southern Africa

Abstract Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a CD4 cell count before starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) to detect advanced HIV disease, and routine viral load (VL) testing following ART initiation to detect treatment failure. Donor support for CD4 testing has declined to prioritize access to VL monitoring. We examined trends in CD4 and VL testing among adults (≥15 years of age) starting ART in Southern Africa. Methods: We analysed data from 14 HIV treatment 

Delays in repeat HIV viral load testing for those with elevated viral loads: a national perspective from South Africa

Abstract Introduction: In South Africa, HIV patients with an elevated viral load (VL) should receive repeat VL testing after adherence counselling. We set out to use a national HIV Cohort to describe time to repeat viral load testing across South Africa and identify predictors of time to repeat testing. Methods: We conducted a cohort study of prospectively collected laboratory data. HIV treatment guidelines have changed over time in South Africa, but call for repeat VL testing within six 

Understanding the costs and the cost structure of a community-based HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention program: the Woza Asibonisane Community Responses Program in South Africa

Abstract Background: The Woza Asibonisane Community Responses (CR) Programme was developed to prevent HIV infections and gender-based violence (GBV) within four provinces in South Africa. The Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) in collaboration with six partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) implemented the programme, which was comprised of multiple types of group discussion and education activities organized and facilitated by each NGO. To date, little information exists on the cost 

Pre-treatment HIV drug resistance testing cost-effectiveness

Duarte and colleagues addressed HIV drug resistance as part of clinical care. HIV drug resistance testing, however, is also used for surveillance purposes in which the occurrence of resistance associated mutations is studied in a sample of people living with HIV that initiate treatment or who showed virological failure while on antiretroviral therapy. These surveillance programs allow the timely identification of wide-spread transmission and emergence of drug resistance which in turn could 

Behavioural interventions and nudges to support HIV care continuity during COVID-19: A guide for programs, policymakers and researchers

The COVID-19 crisis poses new, and compounds existing challenges to ongoing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in high prevalence countries, where the expansion of HIV services has saved millions of lives and reduced new HIV infections. Behavioural interventions that address the barriers faced by patients and providers can help sustain this progress and further improve HIV prevention and treatment outcomes.This document provides examples of behavioural insights that can be used to address specific 

Estimating cases for COVID-19 in South Africa Long-term national projections Report Update: 6 May 2020

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to share the reports on the projections of the National Covid-19 Epi Model to which a number of HE2ROs have contributed. The long-term national and provincial reports are available here. They will be updated about once a month. Over the last eight weeks, Gesine Meyer-Rath, Lise Jamieson, Brooke Nichols, Jacqui Miot and Kerensa Govender have been working with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and National Treasury to aid decision making