Use of technology in follow-up of HIV positive pregnant women and their babies till 18 months of age- an innovation by Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), India

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ObjectiveThe purpose of this study is to assess the utility of web-based mobile technology monitoring tool, for ensuring linkages, and tracking of HIV-exposed child until 18 months of age.MethodsThe ‘early infant diagnosis (EID) Follow-up System’ was designed as a tool for reminding the field level staff for follow-up of HIV-exposed babies. Using Java Swing Framework, software was developed which generates automatic advance SMS alerts regarding patient information to the Counsellor of the respective Integrated Counselling and Testing Center and district supervisor, 7 days prior to due dates. Simultaneously, system generated e-mail is sent to district program officer for monitoring and updating the line-list.ResultsBefore the introduction of ‘EID Follow-up System’ in June 2013, only 55.9% (637/1139) of the HIV-exposed babies born were tested at 6 weeks for DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction during April 2011–March 2012. However, after its introduction, 68.4% (1117/1631) of them were tested during April 2012–March 2013. Correspondingly, the 18 months confirmatory HIV testing in eligible babies increased from 45.6% (934/2044) to 54.7%(1118/2044) during the same period.ConclusionThe replicable technology driven initiative would help in strengthening the follow-up mechanisms and reach every HIV-exposed child for EID.

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