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HIV/AIDS

Implementation Research on HIV/AIDS at The Aurum Institute

Community and facility-based research on HIV/AIDS

South Africa has the largest ART programme in the world, which has undergone even more expansion in recent years with the implementation of ‘test and treat’ guidelines. Implementation research is important to test different methods of delivering this important service in different settings and different target groups.

Community Care: Optimizing Community Services for an Improved Continuum of HIV Care

The Aurum Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, Tonderai Mabuto and Chris Hoffmann, were funded by USAID through Population Council to conduct a project on Community Care: Optimizing Community Services for an Improved Continuum of HIV Care. The aim of this study was to determine available community services by clinic catchment area and assess the relationship between community services and the HIV care continuum outcomes at the clinic level. The study was conducted in Ekurhuleni & Bojanala districts and was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The study was completed successfully and a project report has been submitted to the funders and is under review.

South Africa has made huge improvements in getting people to test for HIV in recent years and is now almost meeting the first of the 90-90-90 targets, with 86% of people aware of their status. However, there is still a need to conduct research on various HIV Testing Services (HTS) and methods.

Provider-Initiated Counselling & Testing (PICT)

In a study funded by USAID through Population Council, The Aurum Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, Tonderai Mabuto and Chris Hoffmann, conducted a Provider-Initiated Counselling & Testing (PICT) study at 10 health facilities in Ekurhuleni district in Gauteng to identify opportunities and constraints of PICT and subsequent linkage-to-care and to pilot strategies for increasing coverage and uptake of PICT. In this study, 1000 patients were followed through the clinic, 6000 interviews were conducted with clinic patients upon exit, 150 HIV counselling sessions were recorded and 50 qualitative interviews were conducted with patients and health care workers (HCWs). The study was completed successfully by end of 2018. Project report has been submitted to the funders and is under review.

Facility-based HIV self-screening

The Aurum Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, Tonderai Mabuto and Chris Hoffmann, are funded by the CDC Innovations Challenge through the Health Systems Division to conduct facility-based HIV self-screening at Ekurhuleni in South Africa. The aim of this study is to integrate HIV self-screening in health facilities. The methods for this study involves three steps:

  1. Easier collection of specimens
  2. Assisted or unassisted
  3. Integration of mHealth (Patients don't need to queue at a counsellor's station)

The study started in October 2017 and will be ending in September 2019.