Impact of a Comprehensive Adolescent-Focused Case Finding Intervention on Uptake of HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Among Adolescents in Western Kenya

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Abstract

Background:

Low HIV testing uptake prevents identification of adolescents living with HIV and linkage to care and treatment. We implemented an innovative service package at health care facilities to improve HIV testing uptake and linkage to care among adolescents aged 10–19 years in Western Kenya.

Methods:

This quasi-experimental study used preintervention and postintervention data at 139 health care facilities (hospitals, health centers, and dispensaries). The package included health worker capacity building, program performance monitoring tools, adolescent-focused HIV risk screening tool, and adolescent-friendly hours.

Methods:

The study population was divided into early (10–14 years) and late (15–19 years) age cohorts. Implementation began in July 2016, with preintervention data collected during January–March 2016 and postintervention data collected during January–March 2017. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the numbers of adolescents tested for HIV, testing HIV-positive, and linked to care services. Preintervention and postintervention demographic and testing data were compared using the Poisson mean test. χ2 testing was used to compare the linkage to care rates.

Results:

During the preintervention period, 25,520 adolescents were tested, 198 testing HIV-positive (0.8%) compared with 77,644 adolescents tested with 534 testing HIV-positive (0.7%) during the postintervention period (both P-values <0.001). The proportion of HIV-positive adolescents linked to care increased from 61.6% to 94.0% (P < 0.001). The increase in linkage to care was observed among both age cohorts and within each facility type (both P-values <0.001).

Conclusions:

The adolescent-focused case finding intervention package led to a significant increase in both HIV testing uptake and linkage to care services among adolescents in Western Kenya.

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