Strengthening the HIV Care Continuum in the Dominican Republic: Application of a Triadic Implementation Framework to Meet the UNAIDS 90–90–90 Treatment Goal

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Abstract

Innovative empirical frameworks to evaluate progress in efforts addressing HIV treatment and prevention barriers in resource-limited areas are sorely needed to achieve the UNAIDS 90–90–90 goal (90% diagnosed, 90% on treatment, and 90% virally suppressed). A triadic implementation framework (TIF) is a comprehensive conceptual tool for (1) monitoring attrition, (2) evaluating operational programs, and (3) measuring the impact of specific implementation goals within the care continuum. TIF will assess the effects of enhanced programs on adherence and virologic suppression within the HIV care continuum at a regional clinic in the Dominican Republic (Clínica de Familia La Romana [CFLR]) and its program serving high-risk, migratory batey (sugarcane cultivation) communities. A retrospective cohort study completed during 2015 collected deidentified data from a CFLR chart review of adult HIV patients diagnosed in 2013. The results were quantitatively analyzed and compared to 2011 cohort data. In 2013, 310 patients were diagnosed HIV positive. The results demonstrated 73% enrolling in care, 28% adhering to care, and 16% achieving viral load suppression. Engagement increased across all steps of the care continuum compared to a 2011 cohort, culminating in a significant increase in undetectable viral load from 4% to 16% (p < 0.001). The batey program showed significant increases in patient enrollment compared to the 2011 cohort (p < 0.001). Meeting the UNAIDS 90–90–90 goal requires enhanced services in high-burden, resource-limited regions. CFLR employs TIF to assess progress and programmatic areas in need of strengthening. Data suggest enhanced CFLR services improve outcomes. Given improvements, maintenance and expansion of similar programs are warranted to achieve the 90–90–90 goal.

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