Evidence on the Impact of Integrating Infant HIV Testing with Immunization Services

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) and the Ministry of Health of Zambia announce the release of new evidence regarding the integration of infant HIV testing with routine immunization services.

Early testing of HIV-exposed infants and the initiation of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive infants is critical to improving infant survival. While Zambia has made significant progress in expanding services for mothers living with HIV, gaps still remain in the identification of HIV-infected infants.

A randomized controlled trial in Zambia in 2014 assessed the integration of early infant HIV diagnosis with the expanded program for immunization in a rural Zambian setting with the aim of determining whether infant and postpartum maternal HIV testing rates would increase without harming immunization uptake. This study provides strong evidence to support Zambia’s policy of integration of HIV testing and EPI services. Actions in line with the interventions, including HIV testing material supply reinforcement, can increase HIV testing rates without harming immunization uptake.

The full results of this study are available through the journal PLOS One here. A brief evaluation summary is available here.

This study was conducted as a part of the Demand-Driven Evaluations for Decisions (3DE) program. 3DE is a pioneering approach to support ministries of health with evidence-based decision-making by using rigorous impact evaluations in a demand-driven, rapid, and efficient way. 3DE is funded by the UK Department for International Development and implemented by the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) in collaboration with local Ministries of Health. Learn more about the 3DE approach here.

For more information about this study, contact Elizabeth McCarthy at emccarthy@clintonhealthaccess.org.

For more information on the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc., please visit www.clintonhealthaccess.org or contact press@clintonhealthaccess.org.