Exploring Sustainability in the Era of Differentiated HIV Service Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Nwanneka E. Okere, Laura Lennox, Lisa Urlings, Nathan Ford, Denise Naniche, Tobias F. Rinke de Wit, Sabine Hermans, Gabriela B. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The World Health Organization recommends differentiated service delivery (DSD) to support resource-limited health systems in providing patient-centered HIV care. DSD offers alternative care models to clinic-based care for people living with HIV who are stable on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Despite good patient-related outcomes, there is limited evidence of their sustainability. Our review evaluated the reporting of sustainability indicators of DSD interventions conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). METHODS: We searched PubMed and EMBASE for studies conducted between 2000 and 2019 assessing DSD interventions targeting HIV-positive individuals who are established in ART in sub-Saharan Africa. We evaluated them through a comprehensive sustainability framework of constructs categorized into 6 domains (intervention design, process, external environment, resources, organizational setting, and people involvement). We scored each construct 1, 2, or 3 for no, partial, or sufficient level of evidence, respectively. Interventions with a calculated sustainability score (overall and domain-specific) of >90% or domain-specific median score >2.7 were considered likely to be sustainable. RESULTS: Overall scores ranged from 69% to 98%. Top scoring intervention types included adherence clubs (98%) and community ART groups (95%) which comprised more than half of interventions. The highest scoring domains were design (2.9) and organizational setting (2.8). The domains of resources (2.4) and people involvement (2.3) scored lowest revealing potential areas for improvement to support DSD sustainability. CONCLUSIONS: With the right investment in stakeholder involvement and domestic funding, DSD models generally show potential for sustainability. Our results could guide informed decisions on which DSD intervention is likely to be sustainable per setting and highlight areas that could motivate further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1071
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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