Bukoba Combination Prevention Evaluation: Effective Approaches to Linking People Living with HIV to Care and Treatment Services in Tanzania (BCPE)

Description/Activities:  Expert client (EC) counselors who are HIV-positive and ART-adherent provide individualized, peer-delivered counseling. They encourage problem-solving about HIV care, disclosure, and resolving real and perceived barriers to care. These EC counselors help arrange first-visit escorts or transportation, if needed, and expedited registration and treatment at HIV-care facilities. The program also integrates with provider-initiated testing and counseling (PITC) in several medical facilities. Taken together, the activities effectively increase the number of individuals linked to care. 

What Makes the Intervention Unique/Different:  Through LCM, HIV-positive patients receive a package of peer-delivered linkage services; initiated at the point of HIV diagnosis, and lasting for up to 90 days, the program takes a people-to-people approach to supporting these individuals and keeping them on treatment. Peer navigators assist individual patients to navigate the continuum of care, ensuring barriers to care and treatment are resolved and each stage of care is as seamless as possible; Case managers strengthen patient outcomes throughout the HIV care continuum, including early linkage to care, retention in care, and sustained ART adherence

Impact Data:  Implementing these recommendations significantly increased linkage to care (90%) compared to the standard of care; of 4,205 patients who participated in the program from October 2014 to March 2017,  BCPE enrolled 3,918 (93%) in HIV care within 90 days. During the test and start era (from Oct 2016), 97% of 752 closed cases enrolled in care within 90 days; BCPE will be implemented in 9 regions across Tanzania; facility implementing partners are currently working on establishing one or two demonstration sites to inform program adaption.

Reference/Website:  https://www.pepfarsolutions.org/solutions/2018/1/15/bukoba-combination-prevention-evaluation-effective-approaches-to-linking-plhiv-to-care-and-treatment-services-in-tanzania-sp3la