Undiagnosed HIV Infection and Couple HIV Discordance Among Household Members of HIV-Infected People Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in Uganda


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Abstract

Introduction:Systematic efforts to identify HIV-infected members and HIV-discordant couples in households of individuals taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) could theoretically reduce HIV transmission and improve ART adherence.Methods:We enrolled HIV-infected clients of an AIDS support organization in a randomized evaluation of different ART monitoring regimens that offered home-based ART care to them and their clinically eligible household members. At baseline, counselors visited participants' homes and offered voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) to all household members. We assessed uptake, HIV prevalence, HIV discordance, and rate of ART eligibility.Results:Of the 2373 household members, 2348 (99%) accepted VCT. HIV prevalence among household members was 7.5% and varied by age with 9.5% among children aged 0 to 5 years, 2.9% among persons aged 6 to 24 years, and 37.1% among adults aged 25 to 44 years. Of the household members with HIV, 74% had never been previously tested, and 39% of these were clinically eligible for ART. Of the 120 spouses of ART patients that were tested for HIV, 52 (43%) were HIV negative, and of these, 99% had not been previously tested.Conclusions:Provision of home-based VCT to household members of people initiating ART was well accepted and resulted in the detection of a large number of previously undiagnosed HIV infections and HIV-discordant relationships.

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