Assessment of the Uptake of Universal Test and Treat Strategy of HIV/AIDS in Fako Health Districts of Cameroon

Author(s):  Kah Emmanuel Nji, Dickson Shey Nsagha, Vincent Verla Siysi, Ayok Maureen Tembei, Eno Orock GE, Ngowe Ngowe Marcelin

Background: In December 2016, the Cameroon ministry of Public health in collaboration with WHO updated its HIV guidelines to a test and treat all strategy, expanding antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility to all individuals with HIV infection, regardless of CD4+ cell count, and recommending ART be initiated within two weeks of HIV diagnosis and this has been implemented in Cameroon since 2016.

Objective: The overall objective of this study was to assess the uptake of universal test and treat strategy and associated challenges.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study where participants were randomly selected from 8 communities and 4 Health facilities within Fako Health districts.1501 and 384 participants were randomly selected from the communities and health facilities, respectively .Data was collected using electronic questionnaires and analyzed using SPSS version 25. Chi square test was used to compared proportions between categorical variables while descriptive analysis was used to measure the uptake of Universal test and treat strategy.

Results: A total of 1501 respondents were interviewed in the 8 randomly selected communities among which there were 882(58.8%) females and 619(41.1%) males. Among the 384 participants that were sampled from the 4 different health facilities,282(73.4%) and 102(26.6%) were males. With respect to history of HIV test, 1207(85.9%) reported to have ever done an HIV test in their lifetime among which majority (61%) were females and the difference was statistically significant (x2=40.1, p<0.001).Out of the 774 respondents who reported to have visited health facility in the past 12 months, only 517(69.5%) were offer HIV test which was far lower than the expected 100% in the context of universal test and treat strategy. Also, the proportion of females who accepted HIV test was significantly higher than that of the males

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