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Getting to 90–90–90: Experiences from the MaxART Early Access to ART for All (EAAA) Trial in Eswatini

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The MaxART Consortium—led by the Eswatini Ministry of Health—implemented multiple interventions between 2012 and 2017 to achieve UNAIDS 90–90–90 targets. We summarize key findings from community outreach strategies in support of the first 90 goal, and from the Early Access to ART for All (EAAA) trial on the implementation of a “Treat All” strategy to achieve the second and third 90 goals within a government-managed public health system.

Recent Findings

The MaxART Consortium demonstrated that “Fast Track,” a problem-solving approach, was effective at increasing testing coverage in the community. Compared with baseline data at 3 months prior to the start of the Fast Track, there was a 273% proportional increase in HIV tests conducted among adolescent males, adolescent females, and adult men, and 722% over baseline for adolescent males. The MaxART EAAA trial further showed that implementation of the Treat All policy was associated with significant two-fold shorter time from enrollment into care to ART initiation than under the standard CD4+ cell threshold-based treatment guidelines. Finally, through the MaxART trial, Eswatini was able to identify areas for further investment, including addressing the system-side barriers to routine viral load monitoring, and designing and implementing innovative community-based approaches to reach individuals who were not more routinely accessing HIV testing and counseling services.

Summary

As low- and middle-income countries adopt the Treat All approach in their national HIV care and treatment guidelines, further implementation science research is needed to understand and address the system-level barriers to achieving the benefits of Treat All for HIV-infected individuals and those at risk.

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Correspondence to Donna Spiegelman.

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Walsh, F., Khan, S., Bärnighausen, T. et al. Getting to 90–90–90: Experiences from the MaxART Early Access to ART for All (EAAA) Trial in Eswatini. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 17, 324–332 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11904-020-00501-6

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Keywords

  • Universal test and treat
  • HIV testing
  • Retention
  • Viral suppression
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Eswatini