The International AIDS Society HIV Co-Infections and Co-Morbidities Initiative has awarded MEASURE Evaluation a top prize for its abstract investigating a strategy to improve outcomes for people co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis (TB). MEASURE Evaluation is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The prize–the IAS TB/HIV Research Prize–was given today at the 22nd International AIDS Society annual conference in Amsterdam. MEASURE Evaluation was one of five winners for its work in Ukraine, which found programs integrating TB and HIV care resulted in a significant increase in timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among coinfected patients. Timely initiation of ART has been shown to reduce viral load and prolong life for HIV-infected people.
MEASURE Evaluation won for the abstract of its report, “How does integrating HIV and TB services affect health outcomes for HIV-TB co-infected patients in Ukraine? Results from an impact evaluation.” The prize is USD $2,000 in recognition of value as an incentive for researchers to investigate questions that affect TB/HIV co-infection and the effectiveness of programs to address it.
This winning impact evaluation investigated the Strengthening Tuberculosis Control in Ukraine (STbCU) project, which examines the relationship between an integrated TB-HIV care strategy and service utilization and mortality outcomes. The study used a mixed-methods approach, with a quasi-experimental quantitative evaluation design, complemented by qualitative interviews. Using data from TB and HIV health facility records at baseline and end line, the evaluation assessed the impact of integrated interventions–from registration to testing and treatment–for coinfected patients at HIV centers and TB dispensaries in Ukraine.
The improvements in both level and timing of ART initiation among coinfected patients were greater in program than in comparison areas, indicating a significant program impact. Although all-cause mortality declined slightly in both program and comparison areas, the declines were not statistically significant and there were no significant program impacts on this outcome. The quality of the routinely collected data used for this evaluation improved between baseline and end line, but further improvements are needed both for patient management and program evaluation.
For more information
See the abstract by Smisha Agarwal, Kristen Brugh, Siân Curtis, Zulfiya Charyeva, Stephanie Mullen, Martha Skiles, Randall Teal, Olga Zaliznyak, Tatyana Senik, and Sabrina Eagan, at https://programme.aids2018.org//PAGMaterial/eposters/7767.pdf