Unitaid

ATLAS · AutoTest VIH, Libre d’Accéder à la connaissance de son Statut VIH

Projets de Recherche

Site web du projet

https://atlas.solthis.org/

Coordination scientifique

Joseph Larmarange

Partenaraires (volet recherche)

Financement

Résumé

Le projet ATLAS vise à réduire les nouvelles infections et la mortalité liée au VIH en améliorant l’accès à l’autotest VIH. Il sera mis en œuvre par l’ONG Solthis dans 3 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Sénégal) pour une durée de 3,5 ans.

Devant la spécificité de l’épidémie en Afrique de l’Ouest (prévalence modérée au sein de la population générale mais importante au sein de certains groupes), il est nécessaire de mettre en place des politiques de dépistage ciblées pour toucher ces populations spécifiques, dans un contexte socioculturel freinant le recours au dépistage.

L’autotest VIH est recommandé par l’OMS, car il apporte discrétion, acceptabilité, et empowerment à ceux qui l’utilisent. C’est une approche innovante pour améliorer le diagnostic des personnes vivant avec le VIH. L’autotest n’a pas vocation à remplacer les stratégies de dépistage existantes mais à les compléter pour parvenir à toucher les populations difficiles à atteindre et qui ne se dépistent pas aujourd’hui.

Le projet ATLAS sera géré par un consortium Solthis-IRD, dont Solthis est le chef de file. Solthis assurera la mise en oeuvre des activités (500 000 auto-tests distribués en trois ans) en partenariat avec les conseils/programme nationaux de lutte contre le sida de chacun des trois pays (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Sénégal) et les ONGs locales déjà en charge de la réponse à l’épidémie.

L’IRD est en charge de la mise en œuvre des activités d’évaluation et de recherche opérationnelle du projet. Plusieurs enquêtes, intégrées au projet, sont prévues entre 2018 et 2021, incluant une enquête téléphonique sur les trois pays, deux enquêtes qualitatives, une enquête économique et un travail de modélisation épidémiologique et économique. L’équipe scientifique est composée de plus d’une quinzaine de chercheurs internationaux, francophones et anglophones.

Zone géographique

Côte d’Ivoire, Mali et Sénégal

Calendrier

2018-2021

Pubications

2022

  • Boye Sokhna, Kouadio Alexis Brou, Vautier Anthony, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Rouveau Nicolas, Kouvahe Amélé Florence, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Larmarange Joseph, Pourette Dolorès et équipe ATLAS (2022) « L’introduction de l’autodépistage du VIH dans les consultations des Infections Sexuellement Transmissibles (IST) peut-elle améliorer l’accès au dépistage des patients IST et leurs partenaires ? Une étude qualitative exploratoire du projet ATLAS à Abidjan/Côte d’Ivoire » (poster #PV340), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
    Résumé : Objectifs Dans le cadre de son projet d’introduction de l’auto dépistage du VIH (ADVIH), le programme ATLAS a initié une étude pour documenter les modalités de dispensation des kits d’ADVIH aux patient.e.s présentant une Infection Sexuellement Transmissible (IST) et leurs partenaires à Abidjan/Côte d’Ivoire. Matériels et Méthodes Une enquête qualitative a été réalisée entre mars et août 2021 dans trois services dispensant des ADVIH auprès des patient.e.s IST: (1) consultation prénatale (CPN) ; (2) consultation générale incluant IST et (3) dispensaire IST dédié. Les données ont été collectées par (i) des observations de consultations médicales de patient·e·s IST (N=98) et (ii) des entretiens auprès de soignants impliqués dans la dispensation des kits d’ADVIH (N=18), de patient.e.s ayant reçu des kits ADVIH à proposer à leurs partenaires (N=21) et de partenaires de patientes IST ayant réalisé l’ADVIH (N=2). Résultats Les trois services présentent des différences d’organisation du circuit du patient et des modalités de dispensation des kits d’ADVIH. En CPN, le dépistage du VIH est proposé systématiquement à toute femme enceinte lors de la première consultation. Lorsqu’une IST est diagnostiquée, un ADVIH est proposé presque systématiquement pour le partenaire (N=27/29). En consultation générale, il y a eu peu de propositions de dépistage et d’ADVIH aux patient.e.s IST et pour leurs partenaires (N=3/16). Malgré l’existence d’une délégation des tâches du dépistage et l’offre d’ADVIH, il n’y a pas de routinisation du dépistage dans ce service. Au dispensaire IST, le circuit du patient est mieux défini : diffusion de la vidéo ADVIH en salle d’attente, consultation des patient.e.s et référencement aux infirmières pour le dépistage avec proposition fréquente de kits d’ADVIH aux patient.e.s IST pour leurs partenaires (N=28/53). De manière générale, l’ADVIH est accepté lorsqu’il est proposé. Mais, la proposition de l’ADVIH aux partenaires n’est pas toujours facile, surtout pour les femmes : difficultés à aborder la question du VIH avec le conjoint, relation de couple « fragile ». Les soignants en général ont une perception positive des ADVIH, mais, ils soulignent le caractère chronophage de la dispensation des ADVIH et souhaitent une meilleure organisation : délégation des tâches (CPN). Conclusion L’organisation des consultations est déterminante : les contraintes structurelles (organisation du service, délégation des tâches) influent sur la proposition d’un dépistage VIH et l’ADVIH ne suffit pas à les lever. La proposition par les soignants d’un ADVIH pour les partenaires nécessite du temps et un accompagnement des patients.e.s. La proposition est plus systématique quand le dépistage est « routinisé » et concerne tous les patient.e.s. Quand l’ADVIH est proposé, il est en général accepté. Si l’ADVIH constitue une opportunité d’améliorer l’accès au dépistage des patient.e.s et de leurs partenaires, une intégration réussie implique d’améliorer l’organisation des services et de promouvoir la délégation des tâches.

  • Fotso Arlette Simo, Johnson Cheryl, Vautier Anthony, Kouame Konan Blaise, Diop Papa Moussa, Silhol Romain, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Rouveau Nicolas, Doumenc-Aidara Clemence, Baggaley Rachel, Ehui Eboi, Larmarange Joseph et Team Atlas (2022) Using routine programmatic data to estimate the population-level impacts of HIV self-testing: The example of the ATLAS program in Cote d'Ivoire, medRxiv, 2022.02.08.22270670 p. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.08.22270670v1.
    Résumé : Background HIV self-testing (HIVST) is recommended by the World Health Organization as an additional HIV testing approach. Since 2019, it has been implemented in Cote d'Ivoire through the ATLAS project, including primary and secondary distribution channels. While the discreet and flexible nature of HIVST makes it appealing for users, it also makes the monitoring and estimation of the population-level programmatic impact of HIVST programs challenging. We used routinely collected data to estimate the effects of ATLAS HIVST distribution on access to testing, conventional testing (self-testing excluded), diagnoses, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiations in Cote d'Ivoire. Methods We used the ATLAS project's programmatic data between the third quarter (Q) of 2019 (Q3 2019) and Q1 2021, in addition to routine HIV testing services program data obtained from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief dashboard. We performed ecological time series regression using linear mixed models. Findings The results are presented for 1000 HIVST kits distributed through ATLAS. They show a negative but nonsignificant effect of the number of ATLAS HIVST on conventional testing uptake (-190 conventional tests [95% CI: -427 to 37, p=0.10]). We estimated that for 1000 additional HIVST distributed through ATLAS, +590 [95% CI: 357 to 821, p<0.001] additional individuals have accessed HIV testing, assuming an 80% HIVST utilization rate (UR) and +390 [95% CI: 161 to 625, p<0.001] assuming a 60% UR. The statistical relationship between the number of HIVST and HIV diagnoses was significant and positive (+8 diagnosis [95% CI: 0 to 15, p=0.044]). No effect was observed on ART initiation (-2 ART initiations [95% CI: -8 to 5, p=0.66]). Interpretations Social network-based HIVST distribution had a positive impact on access to HIV testing and diagnoses in Cote d'Ivoire. This approach offers a promising way for countries to assess the impact of HIVST programs. Funding Unitaid 2018-23-ATLAS
    Pièce jointe Full Text PDF 1.7 Mo (source)


  • Fotso Arlette Simo, Johnson Cheryl, Vautier Anthony, Kouamé Konan Blaise, Diop Papa Moussa, Silhol Romain, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Rouveau Nicolas, Doumenc-Aïdara Clémence, Baggaley Rachel, Ehui Eboi, Larmarange Joseph et Team the ATLAS (2022) « Using routine programmatic data to estimate the population-level impacts of HIV self-testing: The example of the ATLAS program in Cote d’Ivoire », medRxiv. DOI : 10.1101/2022.02.08.22270670. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.08.22270670v1.
    Résumé : Background HIV self-testing (HIVST) is recommended by the World Health Organization as an additional HIV testing approach. Since 2019, it has been implemented in Côte d’Ivoire through the ATLAS project, including primary and secondary distribution channels. While the discreet and flexible nature of HIVST makes it appealing for users, it also makes the monitoring and estimation of the population-level programmatic impact of HIVST programs challenging. We used routinely collected data to estimate the effects of ATLAS’ HIVST distribution on access to testing, conventional testing (self-testing excluded), diagnoses, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiations in Côte d’Ivoire. Methods We used the ATLAS project’s programmatic data between the third quarter (Q) of 2019 (Q3 2019) and Q1 2021, in addition to routine HIV testing services program data obtained from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief dashboard. We performed ecological time series regression using linear mixed models. Findings The results are presented for 1000 HIVST kits distributed through ATLAS. They show a negative but nonsignificant effect of the number of ATLAS HIVST on conventional testing uptake (−190 conventional tests [95% CI: −427 to 37, p=0·10]). We estimated that for 1000 additional HIVST distributed through ATLAS, +590 [95% CI: 357 to 821, p<0·001] additional individuals have accessed HIV testing, assuming an 80% HIVST utilization rate (UR) and +390 [95% CI: 161 to 625, p<0·001] assuming a 60% UR. The statistical relationship between the number of HIVST and HIV diagnoses was significant and positive (+8 diagnosis [95% CI: 0 to 15, p=0·044]). No effect was observed on ART initiation (−2 ART initiations [95% CI: −8 to 5, p=0·66]). Interpretations Social network-based HIVST distribution had a positive impact on access to HIV testing and diagnoses in Cote d’Ivoire. This approach offers a promising way for countries to assess the impact of HIVST programs. Funding Unitaid 2018-23-ATLAS Evidence before this study We searched PubMed between November 9 and 12, 2021, for studies assessing the impact of HIVST on HIV testing, ‘conventional’ testing, HIV diagnoses and ART initiation. We searched published data using the terms “HIV self-testing” and “HIV testing”; “HIV self-testing” and “traditional HIV testing” or “conventional testing”; “HIV self-testing” and “diagnosis” or “positive results”; and “HIV self-testing” and “ART initiation” or “Antiretroviral treatment”. Articles with abstracts were reviewed. No time or language restriction was applied. Most studies were individual-based randomized controlled trials involving data collection and some form of HIVST tracking; no studies were conducted at the population level, none were conducted in western Africa and most focused on subgroups of the population or key populations. While most studies found a positive effect of HIVST on HIV testing, evidence was mixed regarding the effect on conventional testing, diagnoses, and ART initiation.Added value of this study HIVST can empower individuals by allowing them to choose when, where and whether to test and with whom to share their results and can reach hidden populations who are not accessing existing services. Inherent to HIVST is that there is no automatic tracking of test results and linkages at the individual level. Without systematic and direct feedback to program implementers regarding the use and results of HIVST, it is difficult to estimate the impact of HIVST distribution at the population level. Such estimates are crucial for national AIDS programs. This paper proposed a way to overcome this challenge and used routinely collected programmatic data to indirectly estimate and assess the impacts of HIVST distribution in Côte d’Ivoire.Implications of all the available evidence Our results showed that HIVST increased the overall HIV testing uptake and diagnoses in Côte d’Ivoire without significantly reducing conventional HIV testing uptake. We demonstrated that routinely collected programmatic data could be used to estimate the effects of HIVST kit distribution outside a trial environment. The methodology used in this paper could be replicated and implemented in different settings and enable more countries to routinely evaluate HIVST programming at the population level.
    Pièce jointe Full Text PDF 1.7 Mo (source)
  • Kouassi Arsène Kra, Simo Fotso Arlette, N'Guessan Kouassi Noël, Geoffroy Olivier, Younoussa Sidibé, Kabemba Odé Kanku, Dieng Baidy, Ndeye Pauline Dama, Rouveau Nicolas, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boilly Marie-Claude, Silhol Romain, d'Elbée Marc, Vautier Anthony, Larmarange Joseph et équipe ATLAS (2022) « Atteindre les populations clés et périphériques : une enquête téléphonique auprès des utilisateurs d'autotests de dépistage du VIH en Afrique de l'Ouest » (communication orale (poster discuté #PJ321), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
    Résumé : Objectifs En Afrique de l'Ouest, les stratégies communautaires ciblant les populations clés (PC) telles que les travailleuses du sexe (TS) et les hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec des hommes (HSH) ont considérablement amélioré leur accès au dépistage du VIH. Cependant, il demeure difficile d’atteindre une partie de ces populations (TS occasionnelles, HSH « cachés ») et leurs réseaux (pairs, partenaires sexuels, clients). Les kits d'autodépistage du VIH (ADVIH) peuvent être distribués aux PC pour leur usage personnel mais également pour une distribution secondaire à leurs pairs, partenaires et proches. Depuis 2019, le programme ATLAS met en œuvre une telle stratégie en Côte d'Ivoire, au Mali et au Sénégal, notamment auprès des TS et des HSH. Matériels et Méthodes Afin de préserver la confidentialité et l’anonymat que procure l’ADVIH tout en documentant le profil des utilisateurs, une enquête téléphonique a été réalisée. Entre mars et juin 2021, des dépliants ont été distribués avec les kits d’ADVIH, invitant les utilisateurs à appeler un numéro de téléphone de manière anonyme et gratuite (avec une incitation de 2000 CFA de crédit téléphonique). Chaque dépliant comportait un numéro de participation unique permettant d'identifier anonymement le canal de distribution. Résultats Au total, 1305 participants ont été recrutés dans le canal de distribution TS et 1100 dans celui HSH dans les trois pays, sur un total de 44 598 kits d’ADVIH distribués (taux de participation : 5,4%). 69% ont reçu leur kit d’un pair-éducateur ou d’un agent de santé, et 31% l'ont reçu d'un ami (17%), partenaire sexuel (7%), parent (6%) ou collègue (1%). Pour les ADVIH distribués via les TS, 48% des participants étaient des hommes, et pour ceux via les HSH, 9% étaient des femmes. Ceci montre la capacité de l'ADVIH à atteindre les partenaires sexuels des PC et les clients des TS. Seuls 50% des participants masculins du canal de distribution HSH ont déclaré à l’enquêteur avoir déjà eu des rapports sexuels avec un homme. Un tiers des participantes du canal de distribution TS et 45% des participants masculins du canal HSH étaient des primo-testeurs. Les proportions de ceux dont le dernier test VIH remontait à plus d'un an étaient respectivement de 24% et 14%. Ces proportions sont plus élevées que celles observées dans des enquêtes menées auprès de TS et de HSH dans les mêmes pays. Une enquête complémentaire (rappels téléphoniques) a été menée auprès de celles et ceux ayant rapporté un test réactif afin de documenter le lien vers la confirmation et les soins. Les résultats de ces rappels seront disponibles début 2022. Conclusion L'ADVIH est une offre complémentaire permettant d’augmenter l’accès au dépistage des PC peu atteintes via les stratégies conventionnelles. La distribution secondaire des ADVIH est faisable et acceptable. Elle a le potentiel d'atteindre, au-delà des populations-clés elles-mêmes, d’autres populations périphériques et vulnérables au VIH.


  • Ky-Zerbo Odette, Desclaux Alice, Boye Sokhna, Vautier Anthony, Rouveau Nicolas, Kouadio Brou Alexis, Fotso Arlette Simo, Pourette Dolorès, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Sow Souleymane, Camara Cheick Sidi, Doumenc-Aïdara Clémence, Keita Abdelaye, Boily Marie Claude, Silhol Romain, d’Elbée Marc, Bekelynck Anne, Gueye Papa Alioune, Diop Papa Moussa, Geoffroy Olivier, Kamemba Odé Kanku, Diallo Sanata, Ehui Eboi, Ndour Cheick Tidiane, Larmarange Joseph et for the ATLAS team (2022) « Willingness to use and distribute HIV self-test kits to clients and partners: A qualitative analysis of female sex workers’ collective opinion and attitude in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal », Women's Health, 18 (avril 17), p. 1-11. DOI : 10.1177/17455057221092268. https://doi.org/10.1177/17455057221092268.
    Résumé : Background:In West Africa, female sex workers are at increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. HIV self-testing could be an effective tool to improve access to and frequency of HIV testing to female sex workers, their clients and partners. This article explores their perceptions regarding HIV self-testing use and the redistribution of HIV self-testing kits to their partners and clients.Methods:Embedded within ATLAS, a qualitative study was conducted in Côte-d?Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal in 2020. Nine focus group discussions were conducted. A thematic analysis was performed.Results:A total of 87 participants expressed both positive attitudes toward HIV self-testing and their willingness to use or reuse HIV self-testing. HIV self-testing was perceived to be discreet, confidential, and convenient. HIV self-testing provides autonomy from testing by providers and reduces stigma. Some perceived HIV self-testing as a valuable tool for testing their clients who are willing to offer a premium for condomless sex. While highlighting some potential issues, overall, female sex workers were optimistic about linkage to confirmatory testing following a reactive HIV self-testing. Female sex workers expressed positive attitudes toward secondary distribution to their partners and clients, although it depended on relationship types. They seemed more enthusiastic about secondary distribution to their regular/emotional partners and regular clients with whom they had difficulty using condoms, and whom they knew enough to discuss HIV self-testing. However, they expressed that it could be more difficult with casual clients; the duration of the interaction being too short to discuss HIV self-testing, and they fear violence and/or losing them.Conclusion:Overall, female sex workers have positive attitudes toward HIV self-testing use and are willing to redistribute to their regular partners and clients. However, they are reluctant to promote such use with their casual clients. HIV self-testing can improve access to HIV testing for female sex workers and the members of their sexual and social network.
    Mots-clés : ATLAS, female sex workers, HIV self-testing, partners, perception, secondary distribution, West Africa.
  • Ky-Zerbo Odette, Desclaux Alice, Vautier Anthony, Boye Sokhna, Gueye Papa Alioune, Rouveau Nicolas, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Kouadio Alexis Brou, Camara Cheick Sidi, Sow Souleymane, Geoffroy Olivier, Kabemba Odé Kanku, Keita Abdelaye, Ehui Eboi, Ndour Cheick Tidiane, Larmarange Joseph et équipe ATLAS (2022) « Utilisation et redistribution de l’autodépistage du VIH parmi les populations clés et leurs réseaux en Afrique de l’Ouest : pratiques et expériences vécues dans le projet ATLAS » (communication orale #CO8.1), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
    Résumé : Objectifs L’autodépistage du VIH (ADVIH), notamment la distribution dans les réseaux des personnes en contact avec des programmes de prévention (distribution secondaire), permet de rejoindre des personnes ayant faiblement accès au dépistage. Dans le cadre du projet ATLAS, une analyse des pratiques d’utilisation et de redistribution de l’ADVIH parmi les hommes qui ont des rapports sexuels avec des hommes (HSH), les travailleuses du sexe (TS), les usagers de drogues (UD) et leurs partenaires a été réalisée en Côte d’Ivoire, au Mali et au Sénégal. Matériels et Méthodes Une enquête qualitative a été conduite de janvier à juillet 2021. Des entretiens face-à-face et par téléphone ont été réalisés avec des utilisateurꞏtrices de l’ADVIH identifiéꞏes par (i) des pairsꞏes éducateurꞏtrices HSH, TS et UD ou (ii) via une enquête téléphonique anonyme. Résultats Au total 80 personnes ont été interviewées (65 en face-à-face, 15 par téléphone). À la première utilisation, la majorité a réalisé l’ADVIH sans la présence d’unꞏe professionnelꞏle (2/3). Ils l’ont justifié par la facilité de réalisation de l’ADVIH et l’existence d’outils de supports. La majorité a redistribué des kits d’ADVIH à des partenaires sexuelsꞏles, pairꞏes/amiꞏes, clients pour les TS et d’autres types de relations sans difficulté majeure. Leur motivation commune était l’intérêt de la connaissance du statut VIH pour l’utilisateurꞏtrice finalꞏe. Cependant vis-à-vis des partenaires sexuelsꞏles et des clients des TS, il s’agissait surtout de s’informer du statut de ce/cette dernier-ère pour décider des mesures préventives à adopter. Les réactions des utilisateurꞏtrices secondaires étaient majoritairement positives parce que ce nouvel outil répondait à une attente liée au besoin de connaître leur statut VIH, certainꞏes n’ayant par ailleurs jamais fait de dépistage VIH. Quelques cas de refus ont été rencontrés, surtout de la part des clients occasionnels pour les TS. Un cas de violence physique de la part d’un client a été rapporté. Les raisons de non-proposition de l’ADVIH à son réseau variaient suivant les catégories de populations clés et les utilisateurꞏtrices secondaires. Les trois populations clés, surtout les UD, ont rapporté des craintes de réactions négatives de certainꞏes partenaires sexuelsꞏles. Les HSH et les UD en ont moins distribué à leurs pairꞏes/amiꞏes par rapport aux partenaires sexuelꞏles parce qu’ils/elles estimaient que ceux/celles-ci étaient dans les mêmes réseaux de distribution des kits d’ADVIH et en avaient donc déjà reçus. Chez les TS, l’ADVIH était moins souvent proposé aux clients et aux partenaires qui acceptaient l’utilisation du préservatif. Conclusion Les résultats montrent une bonne acceptation de l’ADVIH tant en distribution primaire que secondaire. La redistribution de l’ADVIH dans les réseaux des populations clés peut permettre d’accroitre l’accès au dépistage parmi les populations peu dépistées, sans répercussion négative pour les personnes qui le proposent.

  • Larmarange Joseph (2022) « Atteindre les populations périphériques en Afrique de l’Ouest : autodépistage du VIH et distribution secondaire » (communication orale), présenté à Congrès National des Internes de Santé Publique, Caen. https://clisp.fr/cnisp2022.
  • Larmarange Joseph et équipe ATLAS (2022) « Autodépistage du VIH en Afrique de l’Ouest : Synthèse des résultats des recherches menées dans ATLAS » (communication orale (symposium ATLAS), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
  • Simo Fotso Arlette, Johnson Cheryl, Vautier Anthony, Kouame Konan Blaise, Diop Papa Moussa, Doumenc Aïdara Clémence, Baggaley Rachel, Ehui Eboi, Larmarange Joseph et équipe ATLAS (2022) « Mesure de l’impact populationnel de l’auto-dépistage du VIH par la triangulation de données programmatiques de routine : Exemple du projet ATLAS en Côte d’Ivoire » (poster #PV164), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
    Résumé : Objectifs L’auto-dépistage du VIH (ADVIH) est recommandé comme stratégie de dépistage par l’OMS. Il a pour avantage de permettre aux personnes de réaliser elles-mêmes leur test et de garantir la discrétion et confidentialité, permettant de toucher des populations non testées et difficiles à atteindre. Cependant, son caractère confidentiel et l'approche de distribution via les réseaux (ciblant les population clés et leurs proches et partenaires) rendent difficile l'estimation de l’impact de l’ADVIH au niveau populationnel. Cette étude propose un moyen de surmonter ce défi et utilise des données programmatiques de routine pour estimer indirectement les impacts du projet ATLAS sur l'accès au dépistage du VIH, le dépistage du VIH conventionnel (c'est-à-dire autre que l’ADVIH), les nouveaux diagnostics du VIH et l’initiation de traitement antirétroviral (TAR) en Côte d'Ivoire. Matériels et Méthodes Les données sur le nombre de kits d’ADVIH distribués par ATLAS proviennent des rapports des partenaires de mise en oeuvre entre le troisième trimestre (T3) de 2019 et le T1 2021. Nous utilisons également les indicateurs de routine du PEPFAR agrégées par districts sanitaires et par trimestre. Les analyses se font par une régression de séries chronologiques écologiques à l'aide de modèles mixtes linéaires. Résultats Entre T3 2019 et T1 2021, 99353 kits d’ADVIH ont été distribués par ATLAS dans les 78 districts sanitaires inclus dans l'analyse. Les résultats (tableau 1) montrent un effet négatif mais non significatif sur le volume de tests conventionnels (-195) ce qui traduirait une légère substitution entre ADVIH et test conventionnel. Malgré cela l’effet net est positif sur l’accès au dépistage : pour 1000 ADVIH distribués via ATLAS, 589 personnes supplémentaires ont eu accès au dépistage du VIH avec l’hypothèse d’un taux d'utilisation d’ADVIH (TU) de 80 % et 393 avec une hypothèse de 60%. L'effet de l’ADVIH sur le diagnostic du VIH était significatif et positif (8). Pas d’effet significatif observé sur l’initiation TAR (-2). Conclusion Nos résultats mettent en évidence qu'une stratégie de distribution de l’ADVIH basée sur les réseaux ciblant les population clés et leurs proches et partenaires augmentent l’accès au dépistage du VIH et améliore le diagnostic. La méthodologie utilisée dans cet article pourrait être reproduite dans différents contextes pour l'évaluation des programmes d’ADVIH, sans nécessité de systèmes de collecte additionnels.


  • Simo Fotso Arlette, Kra Arsène Kouassi, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boye Sokhna, d’Elbée Marc, Ky-zerbo Odette, Rouveau Nicolas, N’Guessan Noel Kouassi, Geoffroy Olivier, Vautier Anthony, Larmarange Joseph et for the ATLAS Team (2022) « Is it possible to recruit HIV self-test users for an anonymous phone-based survey using passive recruitment without financial incentives? Lessons learned from a pilot study in Côte d’Ivoire », Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 8 (4) (janvier 6), p. 1-7. DOI : 10.1186/s40814-021-00965-2. https://pilotfeasibilitystudies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40814-021-00965-2.
    Résumé : Background:  Due to the discreet and private nature of HIV self-testing (HIVST), it is particularly challenging to moni‑tor and assess the impacts of this testing strategy. To overcome this challenge, we conducted a study in Côte d’Ivoire to characterize the profile of end users of HIVST kits distributed through the ATLAS project (AutoTest VIH, Libre d’Accéder à la connaissance de son Statut). Feasibility was assessed using a pilot phone-based survey. Methods:  The ATLAS project aims to distribute 221300 HIVST kits in Côte d’Ivoire from 2019 to 2021 through both primary (e.g., direct distribution to primary users) and secondary distribution (e.g., for partner testing). The pilot survey used a passive recruitment strategy—whereby participants voluntarily called a toll-free survey phone number—to enrol participants. The survey was promoted through a sticker on the HIVST instruction leaflet and hotline invitations and informal promotion by HIVST kit-dispensing agents. Importantly, participation was not financially incentivized, even though surveys focussed on key populations usually use incentives in this context. Results:  After a 7-month period in which 25,000 HIVST kits were distributed, only 42 questionnaires were completed. Nevertheless, the survey collected data from users receiving HIVST kits via both primary and secondary distribution (69% and 31%, respectively). Conclusion:  This paper provides guidance on how to improve the design of future surveys of this type. It discusses the need to financial incentivize participation, to reorganize the questionnaire, the importance of better informing and training stakeholders involved in the distribution of HIVST, and the use of flyers to increase the enrolment of users reached through secondary distribution.
  • Traore Métogara Mohamed, Badiane Kéba, Vautier Anthony, Simo Fotso Arlette, Kabemba Odé Kanku, Rouveau Nicolas, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boilly Marie-Claude, Larmarange Joseph, Terris-Prestholt Fern, d'Elbée Marc et équipe ATLAS (2022) « Coûts unitaires de l’autodépistage et du dépistage classique du VIH dans les centres de santé publics et communautaires en Côte d’Ivoire, au Mali et au Sénégal » (poster #PJ165), présenté à AFRAVIH, Marseille.
    Résumé : Objectifs L’atteinte des « trois 95 » de l’ONUSIDA a induit l’adoption de stratégies de dépistage VIH innovantes en Afrique de l’Ouest. Le projet ATLAS déploie l’autodépistage du VIH (ADVIH) en Côte d'Ivoire (CI), au Mali (ML) et au Sénégal (SN) en stratégie avancée et fixe (Figure 1). Les stratégies fixes sont mises en oeuvre dans (i) des structures de santé fixes pour le dépistage des partenaires de personnes vivant avec le VIH (Index), et pour celui des patients ayant une Infection Sexuellement Transmissible (IST) et leurs partenaires, et (ii) dans des cliniques communautaires à destination des hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec des hommes (HSH), des travailleuses du sexe (TS) et des personnes usagères de drogues (UD). Cette étude a pour objectif d’estimer les coûts unitaires des stratégies fixes ADVIH et celui des tests de diagnostic rapide (TDR). Matériels et Méthodes L’évaluation des coûts de dispensation des ADVIH a porté sur 37 (CI=16 ; ML=11 ; SN=10) centres de santé publics et communautaires entre 2019 et 2021 suivant la perspective du fournisseur. Nous avons combiné une analyse de rapports financiers avec celle d’une collecte de coûts dans les centres complétés par des observations de sessions de dispensation ADVIH et de dépistage VIH, en excluant les coûts centraux. Résultats Au total, 16001 kits d’ADVIH (CI=9306 ; ML=3973 ; SN=2722) ont été dispensés pour 32194 TDR réalisés (CI=8213; ML=3612; SN=20369). Les coûts unitaires moyens de l’ADVIH étaient compris entre 4$ et $8 pour la Côte d’Ivoire et le Sénégal (Tableau 1). Ces coûts étaient plus élevés au Mali, entre 7$ et 26$, liés à des coûts de personnels élevés (management/administration et agents dispensateurs HSH), ainsi que de faibles volumes de kits ADVIH dispensés pour certains canaux. En Côte d'Ivoire et au Sénégal, les coûts moyens du dépistage avec TDR ont été estimés dans l’ensemble des canaux à environ 4$ par personne testée (coûts non estimés au Mali). Conclusion Dans les trois pays, les coûts moyens d’introduction des ADVIH en stratégies fixes à faible volume étaient légèrement plus élevés que ceux des TDR. L’ADVIH peut diversifier l’offre de service de dépistage au niveau des structures fixes, améliorant ainsi l’accès au dépistage des populations cibles non-atteintes par les services TDR.


  • Traoré Métogara Mohamed, Badiane Kéba, Vautier Anthony, Simo Fotso Arlette, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Rouveau Nicolas, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Larmarange Joseph, Terris-Prestholt Fern, d’Elbée Marc et for the ATLAS Team (2022) « Economic analysis of low volume interventions using real-world data: Costs of HIV self-testing distribution and HIV testing services in west Africa from the ATLAS project », Frontiers in Health Services, 2 (juin 27), p. 886513. DOI : 10.3389/frhs.2022.886513. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frhs.2022.886513.
    Résumé : Achieving the first 95 of the UNAIDS targets requires the implementation of innovative approaches to knowing one's HIV status. Among these innovations is the provision of HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits in west Africa by the international partner organization Solthis (IPO). In order to provide guidance for the optimal use of financial resources, this study aims to estimate the program and site level costs of dispensing HIVST as well as HIV testing services (HTS) - excluding HIVST - in health facilities in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal as part of the ATLAS project. We estimated from the provider’s perspective, HIVST and HTS incremental costs using top-down and bottom-up costing approaches and conducted a time and motion study. We identified costs at the program level for HIVST (including IPO central costs) and at the site level for HIVST and HTS. The economic costs of distributing HIVST kits were assessed in 37 health facilities between July 2019 and March 2021 (21 months). Sensitivity analyses were also performed on unit costs to examine the robustness of our estimates related to key assumptions. In total, 16,001 HIVST kits were dispensed for 32,194 HTS sessions carried out. Program level HIVST average costs ranged $12-$286, whereas site level costs ranged $4-$26 across distribution channels and countries. Site level HTS costs ranged $7-$8 per testing session, and ranged $72-$705 per HIV diagnosis. Across countries and channels, HIVST costs were driven by personnel (27%-68%) and HIVST kits (32%-73%) costs. The drivers of HTS costs were personnel costs ranging between 65% and 71% of total costs across distribution channels and countries, followed by supplies costs between 21% and 30%. While program level HIVST average costs were high, site level HIVST average costs remained comparable to HTS costs in all countries. Health facility-based distribution channels operating at low volume exhibit high proportion of central costs which should be considered carefully for financial planning when run alongside high volumes mobile outreach distribution channels. HIVST can diversify the HIV testing offer at health facilities, thus improving access to screening for target populations not reached by HTS services.

2021



  • Boye Sokhna, Bouaré Seydou, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Rouveau Nicolas, Simo Fotso Arlette, d'Elbée Marc, Silhol Romain, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Vautier Anthony, Breton Guillaume, Keita Abdelaye, Bekelynck Anne, Desclaux Alice, Larmarange Joseph et Pourette Dolorès (2021) « Challenges of HIV Self-Test Distribution for Index Testing When HIV Status Disclosure Is Low: Preliminary Results of a Qualitative Study in Bamako (Mali) as Part of the ATLAS Project », Frontiers in Public Health, 9 (mai 19). DOI : 10.3389/fpubh.2021.653543. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.653543/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Public_Health&id=653543.
    Résumé : The rate of HIV status disclosure to partners is low in Mali, a West African country with a national HIV prevalence of 1.2%. HIV self-testing (HIVST) could increase testing coverage among partners of people living with HIV (PLHIV). This study aims to improve our understanding of the practices, limitations and issues related to the distribution of HIV self-tests at an HIV care clinic in Bamako, Mali. An ethnographic survey was conducted in 2019. It consisted of (i) individual interviews with 8 health professionals involved in the distribution of HIV self-tests; (ii) 591 observations of medical consultations, including social service consultations, with PLHIV; (iii) 7 observations of peer educator-led PLHIV group discussions. HIVST was discussed in only 9% of the observed consultations (51/591). When HIVST was discussed, the discussion was almost always initiated by the health professional rather than PLHIV. HIVST was discussed infrequently because in most of the consultations, it was not appropriate to propose partner HIVST (e.g., when PLHIV were widowed, did not have partners, or had delegated someone to renew their prescriptions). Some PLHIV had not disclosed their HIV status to their partners. Dispensing HIV self-tests was time-consuming, and medical consultations were very short. Three main barriers to HIV self-test distribution when HIV status had not been disclosed to partners were identified: (1) almost all health professionals avoided offering HIVST to PLHIV when they thought or knew that the PLHIV had not disclosed their HIV status to partners; (2) PLHIV were reluctant to offer HIVST to their partners if they had not disclosed their HIV-positive status to them; (3) there was limited use of strategies to support the disclosure of HIV status. In conclusion, it is essential to strengthen strategies to support the disclosure of HIV+ status. It is necessary to develop a specific approach for the provision of HIV self-tests for the partners of PLHIV by rethinking the involvement of stakeholders. This approach should provide them with training tailored to the issues related to the (non)disclosure of HIV status and gender inequalities, and improving counseling for PLHIV.
    Mots-clés : HIV self-testing, HIV status disclosure, Index testing, Knowledge of HIV status, Mali, Partners of PLHIV, People living with HIV, Screening -.


  • d'Elbée Marc, Traore Métogara Mohamed, Badiane Kéba, Vautier Anthony, Simo Fotso Arlette, Kabemba Odé Kanku, Rouveau Nicolas, Godfrey-Faussett Peter, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Medley Graham Francis, Larmarange Joseph, Terris-Prestholt Fern et ATLAS Team (2021) « Costs and Scale-Up Costs of Integrating HIV Self-Testing Into Civil Society Organisation-Led Programmes for Key Populations in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, and Mali », Frontiers in Public Health, 9 (mai 24). DOI : 10.3389/fpubh.2021.653612. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.653612/full.
    Résumé : Despite significant progress on the proportion of individuals who know their HIV status in 2020, Côte d’Ivoire (76%), Senegal (78%), and Mali (48%) remain far below, and key populations (KP) including female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and people who use injectable drugs (PWuID) are the most vulnerable groups with a HIV prevalence at 5%-30%. HIV self-testing (HIVST), a process where a person collects his/her own specimen, performs an HIV test, and interprets the result, was introduced in 2019 as a new testing modality through the ATLAS project coordinated by the international partner organisation Solthis (IPO). In this paper, we estimate the costs of implementing HIVST through twenty-three civil society organisations (CSO)-led models for KP in Côte d’Ivoire (N=7), Senegal (N=11), and Mali (N=5). We modelled costs for programme transition (2021) and early scale-up (2022-2023). Between July 2019 and September 2020, a total of 51,028, 14,472 and 34,353 HIVST kits were distributed in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mali, respectively. Across countries, 64%-80% of HIVST kits were distributed to FSW, 20%-31% to MSM, and 5%-8% to PWuID. Average costs per HIVST kit distributed ranged $12-$15 (FSW), $14-$27 (MSM), and $15-$143 (PWuID), driven by personnel costs at various intervention levels (53%-78% of total costs), and HIVST kits costs (2%-15%). Estimated average costs at scale-up ranged $6-$13 (FSW), $6-$23 (MSM), and $14-$50 (PWuID), and were mainly explained by the spreading of IPO costs over higher HIVST distribution volumes. In all three countries, CSO-led HIVST kit provision to KP showed relatively high costs during the study period related to the progressive integration of the programme to CSO activities and contextual challenges (COVID-19 pandemic, country safety concerns). The analysis of costs at scale suggests that, in the transition to scale-up and further integration of the HIVST programme into CSO existing activities, this model can evolve into an affordable HIV testing strategy. This is particularly relevant as it remains today the most promising strategy for reaching KP of the HIV epidemic, their sexual partners, and FSW clients not accessing HIV testing. Further research will assess the overall cost-effectiveness of this model.
    Mots-clés : Costs and Cost Analysis, Côte d'Ivoire, diagnosis, Female sex workers, HIV self-testing, Key populations, Knowledge of HIV status, Mali, Men who have sex with men, People who use injectable drugs, Scale-up, screening, Senegal, West Africa.

  • d'Elbée Marc, Traore Métogara Mohamed, Badiane Kéba, Vautier Anthony, Simo Fotso Arlette, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Rouveau Nicolas, Godfrey-Faussett Peter, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Medley Graham Francis, Larmarange Joseph et Terris-Prestholt Fern (2021) « Costs and costs-at-scale of provision of HIV self-testing kits by civil society organisations to key populations and their sexual partners in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Mali » (poster PED500), présenté à 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science, Berlin. https://theprogramme.ias2021.org/Abstract/Abstract/476.
    Résumé : BACKGROUND: Despite significant progress on the proportion of individuals who know their HIV status in 2020, Côte d'Ivoire (76%), Senegal (78%), and Mali (48%) remain far below the 90-90-90 targets. Key populations including female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and people who use drugs (PWUD) are the most vulnerable groups with HIV prevalence at 5%-30%. HIV self-testing (HIVST) was introduced in West Africa in 2019 as a new testing modality through the ATLAS project coordinated by the international partner organisation Solthis (IPO). METHODS: We estimated the costs of implementing HIVST through twenty-three civil society organisations (CSO)-led models in Côte d'Ivoire (N=7), Senegal (N=11), and Mali (N=5). We modelled costs for programme transition (2021) and early scale-up (2022-2023). RESULTS: Between July-2019 and September-2020, a total of 51,028, 14,472 and 34,353 HIVST kits were distributed in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, and Mali, respectively. Across countries, 64%-80% of HIVST kits were distributed to FSW, 20%-31% to MSM, and 5%-8% to PWUD. Cost per HIVST kit distributed ranged from $12-$15 (FSW), $14-$27 (MSM), to $15-$143 (PWUD), driven by personnel costs at various intervention levels (53%-78% of total costs), and HIVST kit costs (2%-15%). Predicted costs at scale-up ranged from $5-$13 (FSW), $5-$24 (MSM), to $13-$53 (PWUD), and were mainly explained by the spreading of IPO costs over higher HIVST distribution volumes. CONCLUSIONS: In all countries, CSO-led HIVST kit provision to key populations showed relatively high costs related to the progressive integration of the programme to CSO activities and contextual challenges (e.g. country security issues). In the transition to scale-up and further integration of the HIVST programme into CSO activities, this model can become less costly. This is particularly relevant as it remains today the most promising strategy for reaching key populations and their sexual partners not accessing HIV testing.
  • Kouassi Arsène Kra, Simo Fotso Arlette, N'Guessan Kouassi Noël, Geoffroy Olivier, Younoussa Sidibé, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Dieng Baidy, Dama Ndeye Pauline, Rouveau Nicolas, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Boily Marie-Claude, Silhol Romain, d'Elbée Marc, Vautier Anthony, Larmarange Joseph et on behalf of the ATLAS Team (2021) « Reaching key and peripheral populations: a phone-based survey of HIV self-test users in West Africa » (poster #PEC004), présenté à 21st ICASA, Durban.
    Résumé : Background In West Africa, community-based strategies focussing on key populations (KP) such as female sex workers (FSW) and men having sex with men (MSM) have significantly improved access to HIV testing for KP. However, some of them (like “occasional FSW” or “hidden MSM”) remain difficult to reach, as well as their sexual partners and clients. HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits can be distributed to primary contacts for personal use and through secondary distribution, where contacts are invited to redistribute kits to their peers, partners, and relatives. Since 2019, the ATLAS program implements such a strategy in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal, including FSW-based and MSM-based activities within the communities. Methods To examine the profiles of actual HIVST users without actively tracking them, we implemented a phone‐based survey. Between March and June 2021, leaflets were distributed in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal with the HIV test kits, inviting users to call a free phone number anonymously. Participation was rewarded with $3 USD of phone credit. Each flyer had a unique participation number to indirectly identify the distribution channel (DC), FSW-based or MSM-based. Results A total of 1305 participants were recruited among the FSW-DC and 1100 through MSM-DC across countries out of 44’598 HIVST kits distributed. Of participants, 69% received their self-test kit through primary distribution and 31% received it from a friend (17%), sexual partner (7%), relative (6%) or colleague (1%), which illustrates the feasibility of secondary distribution. In the FSW-DC, 48% of participants were male, and in the MSM-DC 9% were female, showing the capacity of HIVST to reach sexual partners and clients of KP. Only 50% of male participants in the MSM-DC reported to the interviewer that they ever had sex with a man, suggesting that some “hidden MSM” may also be recruited. One third of female participants from the FSW-DC and 45% of male participants from the MSM-DC were testing for the first time. The proportions whose last HIV test was done more than a year were respectively 24% and 14%. These proportions are higher than observed in surveys conducted among FSW and MSM in the same countries. Conclusions HIVST offers a complementary testing approach to increase diagnosis coverage among KP that face barriers to conventional HIV testing strategies. Secondary distribution of HIVST is feasible and has the potential to reach, beyond KP, vulnerable peripheral groups.


  • Kra Arsène Kouassi, Colin Géraldine, Diop Papa Moussa, Fotso Arlette Simo, Rouveau Nicolas, Hervé Kouakou Kouamé, Geoffroy Olivier, Diallo Bakary, Kabemba Odé Kanku, Dieng Baidy, Diallo Sanata, Vautier Anthony, Larmarange Joseph et ATLAS Team (2021) « Introducing and Implementing HIV Self-Testing in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal: What Can We Learn From ATLAS Project Activity Reports in the Context of the COVID-19 Crisis? », Frontiers in Public Health (juillet 20), p. 1-14. DOI : 10.3389/fpubh.2021.653565. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.653565/full.
    Résumé : Background: The ATLAS program promotes and implements HIVST in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal. Priority groups include members of key populations – female sex workers (FSW), men having sex with men (MSM), and people who use drugs (PWUD) – and their partners and relatives. HIVST distribution activities, which began in mid-2019, were impacted in early 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This article, focusing only on outreach activities among key populations, analyzes quantitative and qualitative program data collected during implementation to examine temporal trends in HIVST distribution and their evolution in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis. Specifically, we investigated the impact on, the adaptation of, and the disruption of field activities. Results: In all three countries, the pre-COVID-19 period was marked by a gradual increase in HIVST distribution. The period corresponding to the initial emergency response (March-May 2020) witnessed an important disruption of activities: a total suspension in Senegal, a significant decline in Côte d’Ivoire, and a less pronounced decrease in Mali. Secondary distribution was also negatively impacted. Peer educators showed resilience and adapted by relocating from public to private areas, reducing group sizes, moving night activities to the daytime, increasing the use of social networks, integrating hygiene measures, and promoting assisted HIVST as an alternative to conventional rapid testing. From June 2020 onward, with the routine management of the COVID-19 pandemic, a catch-up phenomenon was observed with the resumption of activities in Senegal, the opening of new distribution sites, a rebound in the number of distributed HIVST kits, a resurgence in larger group activities, and a rebound in the average number of distributed HIVST kits per primary contact. Conclusions: Although imperfect, the program data provide useful information to describe changes in the implementation of HIVST outreach activities over time. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIVST distribution among key populations was visible in the monthly activity reports. Focus groups and individual interviews allowed us to document the adaptations made by peer educators, with variations across countries and populations. These adaptations demonstrate the resilience and learning capacities of peer educators and key populations.
    Mots-clés : Côte d'Ivoire, COVID-19, HIV self-testing, Key populations, Mali, Senegal, West Africa.


  • Ky-Zerbo Odette, Desclaux Alice, Kouadio Alexis Brou, Rouveau Nicolas, Vautier Anthony, Sow Souleymane, Camara Sidi Cheick, Boye Sokhna, Pourette Dolorès, Sidibé Younoussa, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Larmarange Joseph et on behalf of the ATLAS Team (2021) « Enthusiasm for Introducing and Integrating HIV Self-Testing but Doubts About Users: A Baseline Qualitative Analysis of Key Stakeholders' Attitudes and Perceptions in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal », Frontiers in Public Health, 9 (octobre 18). DOI : 10.3389/fpubh.2021.653481. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2021.653481.
    Résumé : Since 2019, the ATLAS project, coordinated by Solthis in collaboration with national AIDS programs, has introduced, promoted and delivered HIV self-testing (HIVST) in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. Several delivery channels have been defined, including key populations: men who have sex with men, female sex workers and people who use injectable drugs. At project initiation, a qualitative study analyzing the perceptions and attitudes of key stakeholders regarding the introduction of HIVST in their countries and its integration with other testing strategies for key populations was conducted. The study was conducted from September to November 2019 within 3 months of the initiation of HIVST distribution. Individual interviews were conducted with 60 key informants involved in the project or in providing support and care to key populations: members of health ministries, national AIDS councils, international organizations, national and international non-governmental organizations, and peer educators. Semi structured interviews were recorded, translated when necessary, and transcribed. Data were coded using Dedoose© software for thematic analyses. We found that stakeholders' perceptions and attitudes are favorable to the introduction and integration of HIVST for several reasons. Some of these reasons are held in common, and some are specific to each key population and country. Overall, HIVST is considered able to reduce stigma; preserve anonymity and confidentiality; reach key populations that do not access testing via the usual strategies; remove spatial barriers; save time for users and providers; and empower users with autonomy and responsibility. It is non-invasive and easy to use. However, participants also fear, question and doubt users' autonomy regarding their ability to use HIVST kits correctly; to ensure quality secondary distribution; to accept a reactive test result; and to use confirmation testing and care services. For stakeholders, HIVST is considered an attractive strategy to improve access to HIV testing for key populations. Their doubts about users' capacities could be a matter for reflective communication with stakeholders and local adaptation before the implementation of HIVST in new countries. Those perceptions may reflect the West African HIV situation through the emphasis they place on the roles of HIV stigma and disclosure in HIVST efficiency.

  • Ky-Zerbo Odette, Desclaux Alice, Kouadio Brou Alexis, Rouveau Nicolas, Vautier Anthony, Sow Souleymane, Camara Cheick Sidi, Boye Sokhna, Pourette Dolorès, Younoussa Sidibé, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Larmarange Joseph et for the ATLAS Team (2021) « Introducing HIV self-testing (HIVST) among key populations in West Africa: a baseline qualitative analysis of key stakeholders' attitudes and perceptions in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal » (poster PEC320), présenté à 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science, Berlin. https://theprogramme.ias2021.org/Abstract/Abstract/972.
    Résumé : BACKGROUND: HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a way to improve HIV status knowledge and access to HIV testing. Since 2019, the ATLAS project has introduced, promoted, and delivered HIVST in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal, in particular among female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs (PWUD), these key populations being particularly vulnerable to HIV and stigmatized in West Africa. Stakeholders involved in HIV testing activities targeting key populations are essential for the deployment of HIVST. Here, we analyze their perceptions of the introduction of HIVST in their countries. METHODS: A qualitative survey was conducted from September to November 2019 within three months of HIVST distribution initiation. Individual interviews were conducted with 60 stakeholders (Côte d'Ivoire, 19; Mali, 20; Senegal, 21). Semi-structured interviews were recorded, translated when necessary, and transcribed. Data were coded using Dedoose"© software for thematic analyses. RESULTS: In the three countries, stakeholders express enthusiasm and willingness to introduce HIVST for several reasons. HIVST is considered able to reduce stigma, preserve anonymity and confidentiality, especially for MSM and PWUD; reach key populations that do not access testing via usual strategies and HIV+ key populations; remove spatial barriers; save time for providers and users, notably for FSW; and empower users with autonomy and responsibility. HIVST is noninvasive and easy to use. Secondary distribution of HIVST seems appropriate for reaching partners of MSM, with confidentiality. However, stakeholders expressed doubts about key populations' ability, particularly PWUD, to correctly use HIVST kits, ensure quality secondary distribution, accept a reactive test result, and use confirmation testing and care services. They also mentioned that FSW might have difficulties redistributing HIVST to their clients and partners. CONCLUSIONS: HIVST is considered an attractive strategy to improve access to HIV testing for key populations. The doubts about users' capacities could be a matter of reflective communication with stakeholders before HIVST implementation in other western African countries.

  • Larmarange Joseph (2021) « From Key Populations to beyond : using HIV self-testing to increasingly reach vulnerable groups in West-Africa » (communication orale), présenté à 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science, Berlin. https://theprogramme.ias2021.org/Programme/Session/163.
  • Larmarange Joseph et pour l'équipe ATLAS (2021) « Au-delà des populations clés : la distribution secondaire de kits d’autodépistage du VIH en Afrique de l’Ouest » (communication orale (symposium ATLAS), présenté à 21st ICASA conference, Durban.


  • Rouveau Nicolas, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Boye Sokhna, Fotso Arlette Simo, d’Elbée Marc, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Silhol Romain, Kouassi Arsène Kra, Vautier Anthony, Doumenc-Aïdara Clémence, Breton Guillaume, Keita Abdelaye, Ehui Eboi, Ndour Cheikh Tidiane, Boilly Marie-Claude, Terris-Prestholt Fern, Pourette Dolorès, Desclaux Alice, Larmarange Joseph et ATLAS Team (2021) « Describing, analysing and understanding the effects of the introduction of HIV self-testing in West Africa through the ATLAS programme in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal », BMC Public Health, 21 (1) (janvier 21), p. 181. DOI : 10.1186/s12889-021-10212-1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10212-1.
    Résumé : Authors Nicolas Rouveau, Odette Ky-Zerbo, Sokhna Boye, Arlette Simo Fotso, Marc d’Elbée, Mathieu Maheu-Giroux, Romain Silhol, Arsène Kra Kouassi, Anthony Vautier, Clémence Doumenc-Aïdara, Guillaume Breton, Abdelaye Keita, Eboi Ehui, Cheikh Tidiane Ndour, Marie-Claude Boilly, Fern Terris-Prestholt, Dolorès Pourette, Alice Desclaux, Joseph Larmarange & for the ATLAS Team Abstract Background The ATLAS programme aims to promote and implement HIV self-testing (HIVST) in three West African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal. During 2019–2021, in close collaboration with the national AIDS implementing partners and communities, ATLAS plans to distribute 500,000 HIVST kits through eight delivery channels, combining facility-based, community-based strategies, primary and secondary distribution of HIVST. Considering the characteristics of West African HIV epidemics, the targets of the ATLAS programme are hard-to-reach populations: key populations (female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and drug users), their clients or sexual partners, partners of people living with HIV and patients diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections and their partners. The ATLAS programme includes research support implementation to generate evidence for HIVST scale-up in West Africa. The main objective is to describe, analyse and understand the social, health, epidemiological effects and cost-effectiveness of HIVST introduction in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal to improve the overall HIV testing strategy (accessibility, efficacy, ethics). Methods ATLAS research is organised into five multidisciplinary workpackages (WPs): Key Populations WP: qualitative surveys (individual in-depth interviews, focus group discussions) conducted with key actors, key populations, and HIVST users. Index testing WP: ethnographic observation of three HIV care services introducing HIVST for partner testing. Coupons survey WP: an anonymous telephone survey of HIVST users. Cost study WP: incremental economic cost analysis of each delivery model using a top-down costing with programmatic data, complemented by a bottom-up costing of a representative sample of HIVST distribution sites, and a time-motion study for health professionals providing HIVST. Modelling WP: Adaptation, parameterisation and calibration of a dynamic compartmental model that considers the varied populations targeted by the ATLAS programme and the different testing modalities and strategies. Discussion ATLAS is the first comprehensive study on HIV self-testing in West Africa. The ATLAS programme focuses particularly on the secondary distribution of HIVST. This protocol was approved by three national ethic committees and the WHO’s Ethical Research Committee.
    Mots-clés : Côte d’Ivoire, HIV self-testing, HIV/AIDS, Mali, Senegal, West Africa.
  • Silhol Romain, Maheu-Giroux Mathieu, Soni Nirali, Simo Fotso Arlette, Rouveau Nicolas, Vautier Anthony, Doumenc-Aïdara Clémence, Larmarange Joseph, Boily Marie-Claude et for the ATLAS Team (2021) « Modelling the population-level impact of a national HIV self-testing strategy among key populations in Côte d’Ivoire » (poster #PEC029), présenté à 21st ICASA conference, Durban.
    Résumé : Background: A third of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Western Africa are not diagnosed, hindering progress towards HIV elimination. Scaling-up HIV self-testing (HIVST) among key populations (KP) such as female sex workers (FSW), their clients, and men who have sex with men (MSM), may further curb HIV transmission in this region. Using data from the ATLAS program in Côte d’Ivoire, we projected the potential impact of a national HIVST strategy among KP in the country. Methods: A deterministic model of HIV transmission and different testing modalities among key and lower-risk populations was parameterized following a review of demographic, behavioural, HIV and intervention data of the epidemic in Côte d’Ivoire over time. The model was then calibrated to empirical outcomes, including HIV prevalence, the fractions of PLHIV ever HIV tested, diagnosed, and treated, by risk group. Based on interim ATLAS HIVST programme data among KP in southern Côte d’Ivoire, we assumed that ~440,000 HIVST are distributed annually (i.e. ~10% of all tests in the country), including 29%, 22%, 32%, and 18% to FSW, their clients, MSM, and lower-risk populations, respectively. We predicted the potential impact of this HIVST strategy on new HIV infections and deaths, and new diagnoses over 10 years. Results: After 10 years, the HIVST strategy is expected to increase the fraction of all PLHIV diagnosed by 18%-points in both FSW (86% vs 69% without HIVST) and MSM (95% vs 77%), resulting in small increases overall (85% vs 83%). Overall, this strategy may avert 10,800 (5,100-24,200) new HIV infections over 10 years; equivalent to one infection averted per ~400 HIVST distributed. This corresponds to a relative decrease in new infections of 10% (5-17%), 9% (4-21%), and 32% (23-48%) among FSW, their clients, and MSM, respectively, and 5% (3-10%) overall. However, given the larger population size, two-thirds (63%; 44-78%) of all infections prevented over 10 years were among all lower-risk populations, reflecting the indirect effects of prioritizing KP. HIV mortality among FSW and MSM may be reduced by around 15% over 10 years, vs 4% among FSW clients and 2% overall (i.e. 2700 (1400-5600) total deaths averted). Conclusions and recommendations: A national HIVST strategy may prevent 3-10% of new HIV infections in Côte d’Ivoire, especially among FSW clients and MSM. This would help reduce disparities in HIV burden by reaching key populations and addressing their unmet treatment needs.

2020


  • Boye Sokhna, Bouaré Seydou, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Rouveau Nicolas, d'Elbée Marc, Silhol Romain, Bekelynck Anne, Desclaux Alice, Larmarange Joseph et Pourette Dolorès (2020) « Challenges of HIV self-tests distribution for index testing in a context where HIV status disclosure is low: preliminary experience of the ATLAS project in Bamako, Mali » (poster), présenté à INTEREST 2020, online. http://interestworkshop.org/.
    Résumé : Context and Objective: In Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal, ATLAS project has introduced HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an index testing strategy, distributing HIVST kits to people living with HIV (PLHIV) during consultations for secondary distribution to their partners. Here, we present preliminary results of an ethnographic survey conducted in one HIV clinic in Bamako, Mali, where most HIV patients have not disclosed their HIV status to their partner(s), notably for women for fear of jeopardizing their relationships. In such a context, how non-disclosure affect the distribution of HIVST kits? Method: The study was conducted from September 25 to November 27, 2019, and included individual interviews with 8 health workers; 591 observations of medical consultations; and 7 observations of patient groups discussions led by peer educators. Results: Three principal barriers to HIVST distribution for index testing were identified. (1) Reluctance of PLHIV to offer HIVST to partners to whom they have not (yet) disclosed their status and desire to learn tactics for offering testing without disclosing their HIV status. (2) Near-universal hesitancy among health workers to offer HIVST to persons who, they believe, have not disclosed their HIV status to their partner(s). (3) Absence of strategies, among health workers, to support discussion of status disclosure with PLHIV. In the rare cases where HIVST was offered to a PLHIV whose partner did not know their status, either the PLHIV declined the offer or the provider left it to the patient to find a way to deliver the HIVST without disclosing his/her status. Conclusion: HIV self-testing distribution could serve as an opportunity for PLHIV to disclose their HIV status to partners. The continuing reluctance of PLHIV to heed advice to share their status and promote secondary HIV self-testing distribution highlights the structural factors (social inequalities and stigma) that limit awareness of HIV status and that favour the persistence of the epidemic.

  • Boye Sokhna, Bouaré Seydou, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Rouveau Nicolas, Simo Fotso Arlette, d'Elbée Marc, Silhol Romain, Keita Adbelaye, Bekelynck Anne, Desclaux Alice, Larmarange Joseph, Pourette Dolorès et ATLAS Team (2020) « Challenges of HIV self-tests distribution for index testing in a context where HIV status disclosure is low: preliminary experience of the ATLAS project in Bamako, Mali » (poster PED1255), présenté à 23rd AIDS International Conference, San Francisco (virtual). https://cattendee.abstractsonline.com/meeting/9289/Presentation/2271.
    Résumé : BACKGROUND: In Côte d''Ivoire, Mali and Senegal, ATLAS project has introduced HIV self-testing (HIVST) as an index testing strategy, distributing HIVST kits to people living with HIV (PLHIV) during consultations for secondary distribution to their partners. Here, we present preliminary results of an ethnographic survey conducted in one HIV clinic in Bamako, Mali, where most HIV patients have not disclosed their HIV status to their partner(s), notably for women for fear of jeopardizing their relationships. In such a context, how non-disclosure affect the distribution of HIVST kits? METHODS: The study was conducted from September 25 to November 27, 2019, and included individual interviews with 8 health workers; 591 observations of medical consultations; and 7 observations of patient groups discussions led by peer educators. RESULTS: Three principal barriers to HIVST distribution for index testing were identified. (1) Reluctance of PLHIV to offer HIVST to partners to whom they have not (yet) disclosed their status and desire to learn tactics for offering testing without disclosing their HIV status. (2) Near-universal hesitancy among health workers to offer HIVST to persons who, they believe, have not disclosed their HIV status to their partner(s). (3) Absence of strategies, among health workers, to support discussion of status disclosure with PLHIV. In the rare cases where HIVST was offered to a PLHIV whose partner did not know their status, either the PLHIV declined the offer or the provider left it to the patient to find a way to deliver the HIVST without disclosing his/her status. CONCLUSIONS: HIV self-testing distribution could serve as an opportunity for PLHIV to disclose their HIV status to partners. The continuing reluctance of PLHIV to heed advice to share their status and promote secondary HIV self-testing distribution highlights the structural factors (social inequalities and stigma) that limit awareness of HIV status and that favour the persistence of the epidemic.

  • d'Elbée Marc, Badiane Kéba, Ky-Zerbo Odette, Boye Sokhna, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Traore Mohamed, Simo Fotso Arlette, Pourette Dolorès, Desclaux Alice, Larmarange Joseph et Terris-Prestholt Fern (2020) « Can task shifting improve efficiency of HIV self-testing kits distribution? A case study in Mali » (poster), présenté à INTEREST 2020, online. http://interestworkshop.org/.
    Résumé : Background: The ATLAS project introduced HIV self-testing (HIVST) in consultations of people living with HIV (PLHIV) at public health facilities in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal for secondary distribution to their partners. Preliminary data from a qualitative study (observations of consultations, interviews with distributing agents) carried out in two clinics in Mali highlight implementation challenges associated with the counselling on self-testing and kit distribution currently done by the medical staff (doctor/nurse) and reported time-consuming. While implementation teams are considering the possibility of delegating certain tasks, it is important to consider the cost of alternative delivery models. Materials & Methods: We analysed preliminary economic costs data for the provision of rapid HIV testing services (HTS) (analysis period: October 2018 – September 2019) and HIVST services (August 2019 – October 2019) in these same two Malian clinics. Above service level costs are excluded. We then modelled the costs of provision using alternative cadres of medical and non-medical staff (psychosocial counsellors/peer educators) and the consumables used to simulate task shifting scenarios for the provision of HTS and HIVST services. The three scenarios correspond to 1. partial delegation: individual counselling done by non-medical staff and HIVST distribution by the medical staff ; 2. total delegation: individual counselling and distribution done by non-medical staff only; and 3. total delegation with group counselling: where group counselling and distribution are done by non-medical staff only. Results: Findings show that the unit costs per HIVST provided for the observed model are 58% higher than those of a conventional rapid test: $7,50 and $4.75, respectively. The costs are less high in scenarios of partial ($5.45, +15%) or total ($5.29, +11%) delegation but always higher than those of a rapid test due to the greater costs of consumables (HIVST kit). Finally, in the case where counselling on self-testing were carried out in a group, the costs per kit provided ($4.44, -6%) would become slightly lower than those of a rapid test, where counselling is always done individually. Conclusion: Task delegation from medical to non-medical staff can generate substantial cost savings. These preliminary results can guide the implementation strategy of HIVST in care consultations, to ensure sustainability from early introduction through scale-up.

  • Ky-Zerbo Odette, Desclaux Alice, Doumenc Aïdara Clémence, Rouveau Nicolas, Boye Sokhna, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Diallo Sanata, Geoffroy Olivier, Kouadio Brou Alexis, Sow Jules Souleymane, Camara Cheick Sidi et Larmarange Joseph (2020) « “When you provide an HIV self-testing kit […] you also need to know the results”: lay providers’ concerns on HIV self-testing provision to peers, ATLAS project » (poster), présenté à INTEREST 2020, online. http://interestworkshop.org/.
    Résumé : Background: HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a process in which a person collects his or her own specimen (oral fluid or blood), using a simple rapid HIV test and then performs the test and interprets the result, often in a private setting, either alone or with someone he/she trusts (WHO, 2018). HIVST is convenient to reach stigmatized groups such as key populations. In the ATLAS project, provision of HIVST kits is done by lay providers to sex workers, drug users and men who have sex with men, or through secondary distribution by primary contacts to their partners and other peers. There is a shifting of paradigm because the result of an HIVST is not necessarily shared with the lay provider. How do lay providers responsible for HIVST kits distribution to key populations in West Africa adopt this new testing strategy? This abstract discusses the concerns of lay providers who offer HIVST kits to peers in the ATLAS Project (Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal). Material and Methods: We conducted seven focus group discussions with fifty-six lay providers who had experience in offering HIVST to peers (sex workers, men who have sex with men, drug users) in the three countries two months after the ATLAS project started. Results: Lay providers report no major opposition or conflict in offering HIVST kits. Testimonies from primary recipients also suggest that the HIVST was performed correctly in the case of secondary distribution. However, lay providers’ concerns remain with the lack of knowledge of the self-test results. In previous HIV testing strategies, providers usually played a key role to support their client during pre- and post-test counselling, especially when the test result was positive. Therefore, their question is how can they continue to support peers while respecting the private nature of self-testing? The concern is at two levels. At the individual level, lay providers fear that the continuum of care is not guaranteed and peers who self-test with a reactive test result may stay alone. At the collective level, lay providers fear to miss their performance objectives linked to the number of new HIV-positive cases they found and requested by some donors. Consequently, alongside HIVST provision, lay providers share their phone numbers, call back their primary recipients, or apply other indirect strategies to know the self-test result of their recipients. Conclusion: Lay providers develop strategies to learn about the issue of the HIVST they offer and to provide support to their peers following HIVST provision. Is this behaviour related to a cultural context that values social relationships or a sign of empathy to key populations and people living with HIV in a context of high stigmatization? Or is it related to existing performance objectives for new HIV-positive cases finding requested by donors? The meanings of this practice call for a deep reflection on whether or not the WHO guidelines need to be adapted to this context.

  • Larmarange Joseph (2020) « L’autotest est-il une réponse à l’accès aux soins en temps de COVID-19 ? Opportunités et défis » (communication orale), présenté à Séminaire scientifique virtuel de l’IAS Educational Fund : Comment atteindre les populations clés du VIH pendant la pandémie COVID-19 en Afrique de l'ouest et du centre ?, en ligne. https://joseph.larmarange.net/?article283.

  • Vautier Anthony, Rouveau Nicolas, Diallo Sanata, Traore Marinette, Geoffroy Olivier, Kanku Kabemba Odé, Doumenc Aïdara Clémence et Larmarange Joseph (2020) « Is manufacturer’s Instructions-For-Use sufficient in a multilingual and low literacy context? The example of HIV self-testing in West Africa » (poster), présenté à INTEREST 2020, online. http://interestworkshop.org/.
    Résumé : Background: The ATLAS project aims to promote the use of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. In order to ensure accurate HIVST use, it was necessary to evaluate if the manufacturer’s Instructions-For-Use (IFUs), standardized at the international level, provides complete, accessible and adapted information in the 3 countries’ contexts. Materials & Methods: In December 2018, cognitive interviews were conducted with 64 participants, mostly Men who have Sex with Men (40,6%) and Female Sex Workers (43,8%) in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. Among them, 17,2 % never performed HIV test before and 38% of participants cannot read. They were invited to perform an oral HIVST (OraQuick®) and were requested, at each step of the procedure to share their understanding of the IFU for HIVST use, of the result interpretation and of related actions to be taken. All participants had in hands the manufacturer's IFUs in French, including the free national hotline number. Half of them additionally received manufacturer's demonstration video translated into local languages. Directive interviews guide included 50 questions to collect participants’ perception of what was missing or unclear in the supporting tools. The methodology was validated with all national AIDS programmes and ministries of health. Results: Out of 64 HIVST performed, 5 results were positive (7,8%) and confirmed with additional tests. Overall, the IFU was well understood: 58 participants (92%) were able to interpret their HIVST result correctly without assistance. However, some misuses were observed at various stages, particularly for people who cannot read, with some instructions misunderstood or perceived as not adapted. Only participants who can read have access to information as “do not eat” or “do not use the test if you are on ART” as it is not illustrated in the IFUs. Most of the participants did not spontaneously identify the promotion of the free hotline number and/or the link to the demonstration video. Some procedure’s steps were misinterpreted: 7 participants (11%) did not swab correctly the flat pad along the gum, 3 participants (5%) have read the result at inaccurate time (at 20 seconds, at 5 minutes or after 40 minutes), 13 participants (20%) did not put the stand (for the tube including the liquid) in the right way and 8 other participants struggled to slide tube into the stand. Among 42 participants who can not read and/or who had not seen the video beforehand, 14 of them (33%) had at least one difficulty to interpret the result or to understand what to do after the test/result. On the other hand, the results of the cognitive interviews showed that demonstration video provides a real added value to the user’s understanding and accurate HIVST use (31 participants out of 32 found it very easy to understand with 9 of them who felt they do not need the IFUs if they previously watched the demonstration video). The video translation into local languages, produced by the ATLAS project, was very much appreciated by the participants. Conclusion: The manufacturer's IFUs alone appear not to be sufficient in a multilingual, low-literacy context to ensure accurate HIVST use. Access to additional supporting tools (complementary leaflet, demonstration video or free hotline) is essential in the 3 countries’ contexts.

2019

2018

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