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Glob Health Sci Pract ; 9(4): 978-989, 2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633289


INTRODUCTION: Faced with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, governments worldwide instituted lockdowns to curtail virus spread. Health facility closures and travel restrictions disrupted access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for people living with HIV. This report describes how HIV programs in Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, and Nigeria supported treatment continuation by introducing home delivery of ARVs. METHODS: Staff supporting the programs provided accounts of when and how decisions were taken to support ARV home delivery. They captured programmatic information about home delivery implementation using an intervention documentation tool. The 4 country experiences revealed lessons learned about factors favoring successful expansion of ARV home delivery. RESULTS: Three of the countries relied on existing networks of community health workers for ARV delivery; the fourth country, Indonesia, relied on a private sector courier service. Across the 4 countries, between 19% and 51% of eligible clients were served by home delivery. The experiences showed that ARV home delivery is feasible and acceptable to health service providers, clients, and other stakeholders. Essential to success was rapid mobilization of stakeholders who led the design of the home delivery mechanisms and provided leadership support of the service innovations. Timely service adaptation was made possible by pre-existing differentiated models of care supportive of community-based ARV provision by outreach workers. Home delivery models prioritized protection of client confidentiality and prevention measures for COVID-19. Sustainability of the innovation depends on reinforcement of the commodity management infrastructure and investment in financing mechanisms. CONCLUSION: Home delivery of ARVs is a feasible client-centered approach to be included among the options for decentralized drug distribution. It serves as a measure for expanding access to care both when access to health services is disrupted and under routine circumstances.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Indonesia , Laos , Nepal , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24 Suppl 6: e25814, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487491


INTRODUCTION: The advent of COVID-19 has put pressure on health systems as they implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission to people living with HIV (PLHIV) and healthcare workers. For two out-of-facility individual differentiated service delivery (DSD) models, we assessed acceptability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) distribution through private pharmacies and reach of home delivery of ART through courier services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Botswana. METHODS: From 24 July to 24 August 2020, we conducted exit interviews with PLHIV receiving ART from 10 high-volume public facilities in Gaborone, and mapped and conducted an online survey with private pharmacies to assess willingness and capacity to dispense ART to PLHIV enrolled in the Botswana national ART program. We piloted ART home delivery from September 2020 to January 2021 in Gaborone and Kweneng East districts for PLHIV accessing ART at two Tebelopele Wellness Clinics. We used cascade analysis to measure the enrolment and eventual reach (percentage of those reached amongst those who are eligible) of ART home delivery. RESULTS: Sixty-one PLHIV and 42 private pharmacies participated. Of the PLHIV interviewed, 37 (61%) indicated willingness to access ART from private pharmacies and pay BWP50 (∼US$4) per refill for a maximum of two refills per year. All private pharmacies surveyed were willing to provide ART, and 26 (62%) would charge a dispensing fee (range = BWP50-100; ∼US$4-8) per refill. All pharmacies operated 12 h/day, 6 days/week and on public holidays. In the home delivery pilot, 650 PLHIV were due for refills, 69.5% (n = 452) of whom were eligible for home delivery. Of these, 361 were successfully offered home delivery and 303 enrolled (enrolment = 83.9%: female = 87.2%, male = 77.8%, p = 0.013). A total of 276 deliveries were made, a reach of 61%. CONCLUSIONS: Providing ART through private pharmacies and home delivery was acceptable in Botswana during COVID-19. Surveyed pharmacies were willing and able to dispense ART to PLHIV attending public sector facilities for free or for a nominal fee. Additionally, using courier services for ART home delivery is a novel and viable model in countries with a reliable courier service like Botswana and should be scaled up, particularly in urban areas.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pharmacies , Botswana , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2