Infectious Disease

ART House Supply considerably improves virus suppression

March 08, 2021

1 min read

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Barnabas R, et al. Abstract 111. Presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; 6-10 March 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
Barnabas reports it has received support from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

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According to study results presented at the conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections, an ART home delivery program has significantly increased virus suppression in HIV patients in South Africa.

“Simplifying ART delivery and monitoring can increase virus suppression.” Ruanne Barnabas, MBChB, DPhil, Healio said, Associate Professor of Global Health, Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington.

ART delivery fee graphic

Source: Barnabas R, et al. Abstract 111. Presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; 6-10 March 2021 (virtual meeting).

Barnabas and colleagues recruited 162 patients with HIV who received ART or were willing to initiate ART from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and randomly selected 82 to receive ART via home delivery for a fee. The remaining 80 participants received standard clinic-based ART. The home delivery fee was tiered based on attendees’ income. The main results of the study were home delivery fee payment, delivery service acceptance, and virus suppression.

The researchers worked with a routing scientist at Amazon to develop a routing algorithm that can determine efficient delivery routes and prioritize patients with low ART supplies. The study was carried out from October 2019 to January 2020.

Ruanne Barnabas

Of the participants, 62% (101) were on ART and 60% (98) were unemployed. Compared to standard care, home delivery increased virus suppression from 74% to 88% (RR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.02-1.42). Virus suppression was 64% in patients receiving standard clinical care.

COVID-19 restrictions did not affect patient retention, and the retention rate for all patients was 96%, according to the researchers. Among patients who received ART at home, 98% paid the full fee and 100% said they were willing to continue paying the fee.

Barnabas said the study’s main limitation was its small sample size.

“The next step is to repeat this intervention on a larger scale,” said Barnabas.

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Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

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