Title: Peer-mediated HIV assisted partner services to identify and link to care HIV-positive and HCV-positive people who inject drugs: a cohort study protocol
Authors: Monroe-Wise A, Mbogo L, Guthrie B, Bukusi D, Sambai B, Chohan B, Scott J, Cherutich P, Musyoki H, Bosire R, Dunbar M, Macharia P, Masyuko S, Wilkinson E, De Oliveira T, Ludwig-Barron N, Sinkele B, Herbeck J, Farquhar C.
Journal: BMJ Open,11(4):e041083. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041083: (2021)
Introduction: Targeted, tailored interventions to test high-risk individuals for HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are vital to achieving HIV control and HCV microelimination in Africa. Compared with the general population, people who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased risk of HIV and HCV and are less likely to be tested or successfully treated. Assisted partner services (APS) increases HIV testing among partners of people living with HIV and improves case finding and linkage to care. We describe a study in Kenya examining whether APS can be adapted to find, test and link to HIV care the partners of HIV-positive PWID using a network of community-embedded peer educators (PEs). Our study also identifies HCV-positive partners and uses phylogenetic analysis to determine risk factors for onward transmission of both viruses.
Methods: This prospective cohort study leverages a network of PEs to identify 1000 HIV-positive PWID for enrolment as index participants. Each index completes a questionnaire and provides names and contact information of all sexual and injecting partners during the previous 3 years. PEs then use a stepwise locator protocol to engage partners in the community and bring them to study sites for enrolment, questionnaire completion and rapid HIV and HCV testing. Outcomes include number and type of partners per index who are mentioned, enrolled, tested, diagnosed with HIV and HCV and linked to care.
Ethics and dissemination: Potential index participants are screened for intimate partner violence (IPV) and those at high risk are not eligible to enrol. Those at medium risk are monitored for IPV following enrolment. A community advisory board engages in feedback and discussion between the community and the research team. A safety monitoring board discusses study progress and reviews data, including IPV monitoring data. Dissemination plans include presentations at quarterly Ministry of Health meetings, local and international conferences and publications.
Trial registration number: NCT03447210, Pre-results stage.
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Citation: Monroe-Wise A, Mbogo L, Guthrie B, Bukusi D, Sambai B, Chohan B, Scott J, Cherutich P, Musyoki H, Bosire R, Dunbar M, Macharia P, Masyuko S, Wilkinson E, De Oliveira T, Ludwig-Barron N, Sinkele B, Herbeck J, Farquhar C. Peer-mediated HIV assisted partner services to identify and link to care HIV-positive and HCV-positive people who inject drugs: a cohort study protocol BMJ Open,11(4):e041083. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041083: (2021).