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Correlates of Uptake of Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-Positive Orphans and Vulnerable Children Aged 0–14 Years in Tanzania

Authors Exavery A, Charles J, Kuhlik E, Barankena A, Ally A, Mbwambo T, Kyaruzi C, Mubyazi GM, Kikoyo L, Jere E

Received 20 April 2020

Accepted for publication 25 June 2020

Published 13 July 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 233—241


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Amon Exavery,1 John Charles,1 Erica Kuhlik,2 Asheri Barankena,1 Amal Ally,1 Tumainiel Mbwambo,1 Christina Kyaruzi,1 Godfrey Martin Mubyazi,3 Levina Kikoyo,1 Elizabeth Jere1

1Pact, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 2Pact, Inc., Washington, DC, WA 20036, USA; 3National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Correspondence: Amon Exavery Email

Background: In 2018, only 65% of Tanzanian children aged 0– 14 years living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were on treatment, suggesting that challenges exist. This study explores factors associated with uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among HIV-positive orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).
Methods: Data are from the USAID Kizazi Kipya project that aims to increase the uptake of HIV/AIDS and other health and social services by OVC and their caregivers. HIV-positive OVC aged 0– 14 years who were enrolled in the project from January 2017 to September 2018 were analyzed. ART status (off ART or on ART) was the outcome variable. Multivariate analysis was performed using multilevel logistic regression.
Results: Of the 10,047 HIV-positive OVC aged 0– 14 years analyzed, 93.5% were currently on ART at enrollment. In the multivariate analysis, OVC with male caregivers were 4-times more likely than those with female caregivers to be on ART (OR=4.03, 95% CI=1.49– 10.90). OVC with HIV-positive caregivers were 12-times more likely than those with HIV-negative caregivers to be on ART (OR=12.0, 95% CI=3.81– 37.70). OVC with caregivers who did not disclose their HIV status were 74% less likely to be on ART than OVC of HIV-negative caregivers (OR=0.26, 95% CI=0.08– 0.90). OVC living in urban areas were more than 5-times as likely as their rural counterparts to be on ART (OR=5.55, 95% CI=2.21– 14.0).
Conclusion: The majority of the OVCLHIV in the current study were currently on ART (93.5%) at enrollment. However, uptake of ART by the OVC was dependent on factors external to themselves. Advancing ART uptake may require targeting OVC of female caregivers, OVC of HIV-negative caregivers, as well as OVC of caregivers of undisclosed HIV statu, and rural areas.

Keywords: antiretroviral therapy, uptake, 0– 14 years, orphans, vulnerable children, HIV, AIDS, Tanzania

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