Understanding factors influencing linkage to HIV care in a rural setting, Mbeya, Tanzania: qualitative findings of a mixed methods study. View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2019-12

AUTHORS

Erica S Sanga, Ferdinand C Mukumbang, Adiel K Mushi, Wondwossen Lerebo, Christina Zarowsky

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In remote rural Tanzania, the rate of linkage into HIV care was estimated at 28% in 2014. This study explored facilitators and barriers to linkage to HIV care at individual/patient, health care provider, health system, and contextual levels to inform eventual design of interventions to improve linkage to HIV care. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive qualitative study nested in a cohort study of 1012 newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals in Mbeya region between August 2014 and July 2015. We conducted 8 focus group discussions and 10 in-depth interviews with recently diagnosed HIV-positive individuals and 20 individual interviews with healthcare providers. Transcripts were analyzed inductively using thematic content analysis. The emergent themes were then deductively fitted into the four level ecological model. RESULTS: We identified multiple factors influencing linkage to care. HIV status disclosure, support from family/relatives and having symptoms of disease were reported to facilitate linkage at the individual level. Fear of stigma, lack of disclosure, denial and being asymptomatic, belief in witchcraft and spiritual beliefs were barriers identified at individual's level. At providers' level; support and good patient-staff relationship facilitated linkage, while negative attitudes and abusive language were reported barriers to successful linkage. Clear referral procedures and well-organized clinic procedures were system-level facilitators, whereas poorly organized clinic procedures and visit schedules, overcrowding, long waiting times and lack of resources were reported barriers. Distance and transport costs to HIV care centers were important contextual factors influencing linkage to care. CONCLUSION: Linkage to HIV care is an important step towards proper management of HIV. We found that access and linkage to care are influenced positively and negatively at all levels, however, the individual-level and health system-level factors were most prominent in this setting. Interventions must address issues around stigma, denial and inadequate awareness of the value of early linkage to care, and improve the capacity of HIV treatment/care clinics to implement quality care, particularly in light of adopting the 'Test and Treat' model of HIV treatment and care recommended by the World Health Organization. More... »

PAGES

383

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/s12889-019-6691-7

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6691-7

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1113262089

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30953503


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