“Closing the Gap”: Provider Recommendations for Implementing Birth Point of Care HIV Testing

Catherine Wexler, Yvonne Kamau, Ritika Halder, Melinda Brown, May Maloba, Natabhona Mabachi, Matthew Sandbulte, Brad Gautney, Kathy Goggin, Thomas Odeny, Sarah Finocchario-Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Delays in traditional HIV DNA PCR testing for early infant diagnosis (EID) at 6 weeks of age result in late antiretroviral treatment (ART). Birth point of care (POC) testing is an emerging strategy with the potential to streamline EID services. We elicited providers’ recommendations for introducing birth POC testing to guide strategies in Kenya and similar settings. We conducted formative interviews with 26 EID providers from four Kenyan hospitals prior to POC implementation. Providers discussed the need for comprehensive training, covering both EID and POC-specific topics for all key personnel. Providers highlighted equipment considerations, such as protocols for maintenance and safe storage. Providers emphasized the need for maternal counseling to ensure patient acceptance and most agreed that specimen collection for birth POC testing should occur in the maternity department and supported a multidisciplinary approach. Though most providers supported ART initiation based on a positive birth POC result, a few expressed concerns with result validity. To maximize implementation success, provider training, equipment security, maternal counseling, and logistics of testing must be planned and communicated to providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1083
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Birth testing
  • Early infant diagnosis
  • HIV testing
  • Implementation recommendations
  • Point of care


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