Predictors of testing history and new HIV diagnosis among adult outpatients seeking care for symptoms of acute HIV infection in coastal Kenya: a cross-sectional analysis of intervention participants in a stepped-wedge HIV testing trial

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Abstract

Background: HIV testing is the first step to stop transmission. We aimed to evaluate HIV testing history and new diagnoses among adult outpatients in Kenya aged 18–39 years seeking care for symptoms of acute HIV infection (AHI). Methods: The Tambua Mapema Plus study, a stepped-wedge trial, enrolled patients presenting to care at six primary care facilities with symptoms of AHI for a targeted HIV-1 nucleic acid (NA) testing intervention compared with standard provider-initiated testing using rapid antibody tests. Intervention participants underwent a questionnaire and NA testing, followed by rapid tests if NA-positive. Multinomial logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with never testing or testing > 1 year ago (“late retesting”) relative to testing ≤ 1 year ago (“on-time testers”). Logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with new diagnosis. All analyses were stratified by sex. Results: Of 1,500 intervention participants, 613 (40.9%) were men. Overall, 250 (40.8%) men vs. 364 (41.0%) women were late retesters, and 103 (16.8%) men vs. 50 (5.6%) women had never tested prior to enrolment. Younger age, single status, lower education level, no formal employment, childlessness, sexual activity in the past 6 weeks, and > 1 sexual partner were associated with testing history among both men and women. Intimate partner violence > 1 month ago, a regular sexual partner, and concurrency were associated with testing history among women only. New diagnoses were made in 37 (2.5%) participants (17 men and 20 women), of whom 8 (21.6%) had never tested and 16 (43.2%) were late retesters. Newly-diagnosed men were more likely to have symptoms for > 14 days, lower education level and no religious affiliation and less likely to be young, single, and childless than HIV-negative men; newly-diagnosed women were more likely to report fever than HIV-negative women. Among men, never testing was associated with fivefold increased odds (95% confidence interval 1.4–20.9) of new diagnosis relative to on-time testers in adjusted analyses. Conclusion: Most new HIV diagnoses were among participants who had never tested or tested > 1 year ago. Strengthening provider-initiated testing targeting never testers and late retesters could decrease time to diagnosis among symptomatic adults in coastal Kenya. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03508908 registered on 26/04/2018.

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Agutu, C. A., Oduor, T. H., Hassan, A. S., Mugo, P. M., Chege, W., de Wit, T. F. R., … Graham, S. M. (2022). Predictors of testing history and new HIV diagnosis among adult outpatients seeking care for symptoms of acute HIV infection in coastal Kenya: a cross-sectional analysis of intervention participants in a stepped-wedge HIV testing trial. BMC Public Health, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12711-1

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