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East African Medical Journal

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Mobile health service for HIV screening and care in resource-constrained setting

FX Mbopi-Keou, SM Crowe, GCM Kalla, MA Sosso, S Mboup, L Bélec

Abstract


Objective: This review paper aims at demonstrating that mobile health services for HIV infection in resource-constrained countries may be particularly useful for HIV screening and treatment of HIV disease and associated co-morbidities, especially for people who have limited access to fixed health facilities, including remote or nomadic populations and socially marginalised people.
Data source: PubMed database was used to retrieve appropriate literature related to the following MeSH terms: HIV, testing, counselling, mobile counselling and testing, routine offer of counselling and testing, provider-initiated testing and counselling,
home-based counselling and testing, decentralisation.
Study selection: All articles that met these inclusion criteria and described work conducted in sub-Saharan Africa were considered. Articles were reviewed for information pertaining to mobile health facilities in the field of HIV infection. We
also reviewed available articles describing alternative approaches to HIV screening and care delivery in resource-limited settings without time period restrictions up to December 2015.
Data synthesis: Data collected were analysed and the results related to the aim of the study.
Conclusions: The development of mobile services has benefitted from the  simplification of laboratory tests, including reliable rapid diagnostic tests for HIV, and “point of care” (“POC”) tests for CD4 enumeration. The mobile strategy aims to reach more patients,
particularly those living in remote areas, to reduce loss-to-follow-up, and to improve patient outcomes. With a reduction in HIV-related stigma and associated discrimination by using these services, the mobile strategy may assist decentralisation of programs devoted to HIV screening, anti-retroviral treatment and HIV care.



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