Barriers to HIV Testing, Linkage to Care, and Treatment Adherence

A Cross-Sectional Study from a Large Urban Center of Brazil

Published in: Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica, Volume 40, Number 6 (December 2016), pages 418-426

Posted on RAND.org on August 23, 2017

by Sarah MacCarthy, Michael Hoffmann, Amy Nunn, Luis Augusto Vasconcelos da Silva, Ines Dourado

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.scielosp.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Objective

Early, continued engagement with the HIV treatment continuum can help achieve viral suppression, though few studies have explored how risk factors for delays differ across the continuum. The objective of this study was to identify predictors of delayed diagnosis, delayed linkage to care, and nonadherence to treatment in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Methods

Data were collected during 2010 in a cross-sectional study with a sample (n = 1 970) of HIV-infected individuals enrolled in care. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified sociodemographic variables, behaviors, and measures of health service quality that were associated with delayed diagnosis, delayed linkage to care, and treatment nonadherence.

Results

For delayed diagnosis, male gender (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 3.02; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.0-4.6); age 45 years and older (AOR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.1-2.5); and provider-initiated testing (AOR, 3.00; 95% CI, 2.1-4.4) increased odds, while drug use (AOR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.2-0.5) and receiving results in a private space (AOR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.2-0.8) decreased odds. For delayed linkage to care, unemployment (AOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.07-1.9) and difficulty understanding or speaking with a health care worker (AOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1) increased odds, while posttest counseling (AOR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.3-0.7) decreased odds. For nonadherence, experiencing verbal or physical discrimination related to HIV (AOR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.3-3.0) and feeling mistreated or not properly attended to at HIV care (AOR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.0-2.5) increased odds, while posttest counseling (AOR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.2-0.6) decreased odds.

Conclusions

More attention is needed on how policies, programs, and research can provide tailored support across the treatment continuum.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.