The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new recommendations for global health providers on how to better link people with HIV to care and keep them in care, aidsmap reports. The guidelines follow WHO’s recent recommendation that all adults and adolescents receive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
The recommendations include:
- Viral load testing every six months and then once a year after individuals are on stable ARVs (meaning they have a fully suppressed viral load).
- Those on stable ARVs need only make clinic visits every three to six months.
- Trained lay people can distribute ARVs, while lay people and other non-laboratory staff who are trained and supervised can conduct finger-prick blood tests for treatment monitoring.
- Testing sites should endeavor to effectively link into care those testing positive for the virus. Individuals working at the sites should gather data about linkage in order to determine how to improve the system.
- Care systems should provide community support programs to encourage people with HIV to stay in care.
- Improving the care experience for adolescents and increasing the likelihood that adolescents will stay in care and maintain good health.