Maruyama, Haruka, et al. “Bringing HIV Services to Key Populations and Their Communities in Tanzania: from Pilot to Scale.” Journal of the International AIDS Society, vol. 24, no. S3, 2021, doi:10.1002/jia2.25718.
Despite the global scale-up of HIV testing, prevention and treatment, these services remain inaccessible to groups most vulnerable to HIV. Globally, most new HIV infections are concentrated among members of key populations (KP), including female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs and their sexual partners. These populations lag in access to HIV prevention and antiretroviral therapy (ART) and have less favourable HIV outcomes compared to the general population. Intersecting behavioural and structural factors contribute to these gaps in service access for at-risk KP and those living with HIV; corresponding comprehensive approaches to improving service delivery for KP are urgently needed. Differentiated service delivery (DSD) models tailor HIV programmes to the needs and preferences of specific groups but are rarely implemented at scale for KP. We describe the FIKIA Project, which implemented innovative approaches to scaling up DSD models to reach and engage KP in Tanzania.
The FIKIA Project worked with diverse KP communities in Tanzania to tailor HIV services to their needs and to pair healthcare workers with trained peer educators and expert client counsellors to expand uptake of community-based HIV testing and ART services. We analysed routine aggregate project data from 2016 to 2020 to describe project implementation, outcomes and best practices.
Results and discussion
The FIKIA Project conducted 1,831,441 HIV tests in community settings; of the 98,349 (5.4%) individuals with new HIV diagnoses, 89,640 (91.1%) initiated ART. The project reached substantial numbers of KP: 203,233 received HIV tests, 28,830 (14.2%) received a new HIV diagnosis and 25,170 KP (87.3%) initiated ART at the point of diagnosis. Over time, HIV testing increased by 1.6 times overall (2.3 times among KP), HIV diagnoses increased by 8.7 times (10.9 times among KP) and ART initiation at the point of diagnosis increased from 80.0% to 95.9% overall (from 69.6% to 94.9% among KP).
Over four years, the FIKIA Project scaled up HIV testing, diagnosis and treatment by using DSD principles to design services that meet the needs of KP and their communities.