HIV testing and treatment cascade among female sex workers in Kigali, Rwanda

HIV testing and treatment cascade among female sex workers in Kigali, Rwanda

Previous Associated Student: 
Associated Institution: 
Projet San Francisco (PSF)
Project Trainee Type: 
Email Address: 
etuyishime@rzhrg-mail.org
Phone Number: 
+250 788 307 245

Female Sex Workers (FSW) are at high risk for HIV and are known to have poor health seeking behaviour. Tuyishime’s study describes the HIV testing and treatment cascade among FSW in Rwanda. Since November 2015, Projet San Francisco is implementing an HIV prevention and treatment programme targeting FSW. These FSW are recruited from the community and invited to a nearby health centre for HIV services. HIV-infected FSW are counselled to start ART immediately. Viral load is performed on those who have been taking ART for at least 6 months. Results showed that From November 2015 to December 2016, 4070 FSW were enrolled, and 1612 of them (39.6%) were HIV-infected. Of these, 1237 (76.7%) were taking ART before coming to the clinic, 46 (2.9%) initiated ART the same day, and 164 (13.3%) initiated ART after a median time of 45 days. Of the 1237 FSW who were on ART before coming to the clinic, 1085 had a viral load test performed. 665 of them (61.3%) had undetectable viral load (VL<20 copies/ml), 224 (20.7%) had viral load in the range of 20-1000 copies/ml, and 196 (18.1%) had viral load higher than 1000 copies/ml. Although the vast majority of FSW in Kigali have already been tested for HIV and a substantial proportion of HIV-infected women are on ART, one in five HIV-infected women on ART has a high viral load; this underscores the need of reinforced adherence counselling and the monitoring of ART drug resistant strains in this population.