by Ismael Ahmed, Meaza Demissie, Alemayehu Worku, Salem Gugsa, Yemane BerhaneIntroduction
There have been tremendous achievements in scaling-up antiretroviral therapy (ART) for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), following universal “test and treat” policy implementation in low- and middle-income countries. However, its effects on virologic outcomes is not yet well investigated. We compared low viral load status in people living with HIV between those who were initiated on ART on the same-day and after 7 days of being diagnosed with HIV infection.Methods
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of persons age ≥15 years-old who were newly diagnosed and started on ART between October 2016 and July 2018 at 11 public health facilities in northwest Ethiopia. Exposure was initiation of ART on the same-day of HIV diagnosis. The outcome was low viral load at 12-months following ART initiation. We used double-robust estimator using inverse-probability-weighted regression adjustment to compare the groups.Results
A total of 398 people who started ART on the same-day of HIV diagnosis and 479 people who started 7 days after the initial diagnosis were included in this study. By 12-months following ART initiation, 73.4% (292) in the same-day group vs 83.7% (401) in the >7 days group achieved low viral load (absolute difference = 10.3% (95% CI: 4.9%, 15.8%)). After adjusting for baseline and follow-up covariates, there was statistically significant difference in low viral load status (adjusted difference = 8.3% (95% CI: 3.5%, 13.0%)) between the same-day group and the >7 days group.Conclusions
Achievement of low viral load by 12-months post-initiation of ART was not optimal among participants who started ART on the same-day of HIV diagnosis. Efforts should be made to reinforce treatment adherence while initiating same-day ART.
To assess the accuracy and completeness of information provided by websites selling home self-sampling and testing kits for COVID-19.
Cross-sectional observational study.
All websites (n=27) selling direct to user home self-sampling and testing kits for COVID-19 (41 tests) in the UK (39 tests) and USA (two tests) identified by a website search on 23 May 2020.
Thirteen predefined basic information items to communicate to a user, including who should be tested, when and how testing should be done, test accuracy, and interpretation of results.
Many websites did not provide the name or manufacturer of the test (32/41; 78%), when to use the test (10/41; 24%), test accuracy (12/41; 29%), and how to interpret results (21/41; 51%). Sensitivity and specificity were the most commonly reported test accuracy measures (either reported for 27/41 [66%] tests): we could only link these figures to manufacturers’ documents or publications for four (10%) tests. Predictive values, most relevant to users, were rarely reported (five [12%] tests reported positive predictive values). For molecular virus tests, 9/23 (39%) websites explained that test positives should self-isolate, and 8/23 (35%) explained that test negatives may still have the disease. For antibody tests, 12/18 (67%) websites explained that testing positive does not necessarily infer immunity from future infection. Seven (39%) websites selling antibody tests claimed the test had a CE mark, when they were for a different intended use (venous blood rather than finger-prick samples).
At the point of online purchase of home self-sampling COVID-19 tests, users in the UK are provided with incomplete, and, in some cases, misleading information on test accuracy, intended use, and test interpretation. Best practice guidance for communication about tests to the public should be developed and enforced for online sales of COVID-19 tests.