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Understanding mobility patterns in people with drug-resistant tuberculosis in two South African provinces

ABSTRACT Background/Objectives: Estimates suggest 84% of tuberculosis (TB) transmission happens outside the home, yet transmission locales remain unclear. We aimed to study geographic mobility patterns among adults with rifampicin-resistant (RR) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB for future active case-finding strategies. Design/Methods: We recruited individuals diagnosed with RR/MDR-TB in North West and Free State provinces. Using ArcGIS, we mapped homes and commonly frequented locations. 

Predictors of disengagement during the early treatment period in South Africa

Background Disengagement from HIV care in the early treatment period (first 6 months after initiation or re-initiation) is a critical obstacle to achieving HIV epidemic treatment targets. Clear procedures for clients returning to care are outlined in South Africa’s Service Delivery Guideline on Fast Track Initiation and Counseling. The effect of guideline implementation and the underlying drivers of early disengagement 

Service delivery preferences during the first year on ART: Lessons from a discrete choice experiment in South Africa and Zambia

Background Disengagement from antiretroviral therapy (ART) is common during the first year of treatment, particularly prior to eligibility for lower-intensity differentiated service delivery models Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are a method for eliciting survey respondents’ relative preferences for specific attributes of service delivery. For HIV treatment, a DCE can help determine which specific characteristics of a differentiated model of care matter most to ART clients. 

Counselling and treatment literacy remain critical to the early treatment period in South Africa

Background The first six months after ART initiation or re-initiation (early treatment period) are associated with very high treatment interruption and disengagement from care.  Implementation of rapid ART treatment initiation and lower intensity treatment models have reduced counselling and treatment education before initiation. In the early treatment period, multiple sessions conducted over several months have been reduced to a single session on the same day a client tests 

Patterns of retention in care during clients’ first 12 months after HIV treatment initiation in Zambia: A retrospective cohort analysis using routinely collected data

Background The first year after HIV treatment initiation or re-initiation remains the time of the highest risk of treatment interruption, yet little is known about the precise timing or patterns of early interruptions. We used routinely collected medical record data to define and describe patterns of engagement in Zambia during clients’ first year after initiation. Results suggest opportunities to improve retention in the early treatment 

Exploring HIV Risk Factors, Risk Perception, and Risk-Taking among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Rural South Africa

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) face a disproportionately high risk of HIV acquisition, with biological susceptibility, sexual risk behaviours, and structural factors contributing to this vulnerability. Despite these risks, AGYW often perceive themselves as being at low risk of HIV acquisition, which can hinder engagement with HIV prevention services. This study seeks to explore the complex landscape of HIV risk among AGYW in the high HIV-burden setting of uMkhanyakude district, rural 

Adapting research to conduct a Discreet Choice Experiment (DCE) in the context of COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Why we did this study The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented effects on public health research globally. This affected conventional approaches for collecting primary data. We discuss experiences including ethical implications, challenges and opportunities presented whilst trying to conduct a survey and discreet choice experiment (DCE) under the COVID-19 lockdown 

Costs associated with Covid-19 hospitalization during the first wave at a tertiary-level hospital in Gauteng, South Africa

BACKGROUND The first wave of COVID-19 infection in South Africa began in March 2020, peaked in July of 2020 and ran until approximately the end of October 2020. Estimates of the cost of COVID-19 care during this period, which was characterized by increasing cases and hospital admissions, are critical for building both health-system resilience and improving responsiveness in future health crises. There is however a dearth of cost estimates for pandemic related hospitalisation in the