Family Clinic Days’ impact on child and youth adherence, retention to ART in Uganda
In 2013, Uganda introduced an HIV test-and-treat policy into its national healthcare guidelines, as recommended by the World Health Organization. This provided all people under the age of 15 with antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately after their HIV positive status was confirmed. With the new policy, the country saw a nearly 50 percent increase in the identification of young people living with HIV.
Under these expanded guidelines, the Ministry of Health worried that low retention rates would translate into a large number of these newly initiated patients being lost to follow-up and dropping out of care. Uganda partnered with CHAI to test a family-centered approach prioritizing appointments for families, by coordinating children’s visits with those of their caregivers on designated Family Clinic Days, and by also offering educational and counseling support to children and their caregivers.