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Study demonstrates effective method for ensuring completion of preventive therapy for people living with HIV in eSwatini

26 Oct 2018

Results presented today at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health have found that 99 percent of participants in an isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) study reported that being offered a choice was important to their treatment completion.

The prospective cohort study was conducted at five HIV care facilities in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to determine an effective model for IPT delivery using patient preferences. Patients participating in the study were given a choice between community-based or facility-based treatment. In addition, IPT was linked with antiretroviral therapy pick-up, and healthcare workers were trained in motivational interviewing skills to help providers learn what mattered most to patients and what might help their behaviour to change.

Despite the fact that the majority of patients chose facility based treatment (the traditional method for medicine delivery), patients reported that the fact they were provided a choice made a difference in their motivation to see treatment through to completion.  The choice between the two methods of delivery was especially important to study participants living in rural areas who benefited greatly from having improved access to medications and reducing travel time.

The study also found that 95 percent of participants disclosed to friends or family that they were undergoing preventive treatment for TB and participating in a study.

The next step, following the release of this data, to scale up the strategy nationwide and to create an IPT toolkit to aid in medicine distribution and facility adherence.

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