Factors associated with linkage to HIV care and TB treatment at community-based HIV testing services in Cape Town, South Africa
CITATION: Meehan, S. A., et al. 2018. Factors associated with linkage to HIV care and TB treatment at community-based HIV testing services in Cape Town, South Africa. PLoS ONE, 13(4):e0195208, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0195208.
The original publication is available at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Background Diagnosing HIV and/or TB is not sufficient; linkage to care and treatment is conditional to reduce the burden of disease. This study aimed to determine factors associated with linkage to HIV care and TB treatment at community-based services in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods This retrospective cohort study utilized routinely collected data from clients who utilized stand-alone (fixed site not attached to a health facility) and mobile HIV testing services in eight communities in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan district, between January 2008 and June 2012. Clients were included in the analysis if they were ≥12 years and had a known HIV status. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) logistic regression models were used to assess the association between determinants (sex, age, HIV testing service and co-infection status) and self-reported linkage to HIV care and/or TB treatment. Results Linkage to HIV care was 3 738/5 929 (63.1%). Linkage to HIV care was associated with the type of HIV testing service. Clients diagnosed with HIV at mobile services had a significantly reduced odds of linking to HIV care (aOR 0.7 (CI 95%: 0.6–0.8), p<0.001. Linkage to TB treatment was 210/275 (76.4%). Linkage to TB treatment was not associated with sex and service type, but was associated with age. Clients in older age groups were less likely to link to TB treatment compared to clients in the age group 12–24 years (all, p-value<0.05). Conclusion A large proportion of clients diagnosed with HIV at mobile services did not link to care. Almost a quarter of clients diagnosed with TB did not link to treatment. Integrated community-based HIV and TB testing services are efficient in diagnosing HIV and TB, but strategies to improve linkage to care are required to control these epidemics.