HIV testing rates among adolescent are low and the assumption that testing approaches, such as provider-initiated testing and counseling in the health facility, will also work to reach adolescents, has not been tested.
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Kenya undertook a quasi-experimental study while implementing an innovative adolescent service package to improve HIV testing uptake and linkage to care and treatment services among adolescents aged 10–19 years. It was implemented in 139 health care facilities (HCF) across seven counties of Western Kenya, where HIV prevalence among adolescents aged 10–19 years is 10.4%. The service package intervention comprised capacity building for new and existing HCF staff, new program tools for monitoring performance, adolescent-focused HIV risk screening tool, and adolescent-friendly HCF hours, which included expanded evening and weekend hours.
Implementation of the combined adolescent service package was effective in optimizing case identification and linkage to care and treatment services for HIV-positive adolescents aged 10–19 years in Western Kenya. Decentralization to lower-level facilities, such as dispensaries, was helpful to improving identification and
linkage rates in hard-to-reach communities. Testing in outpatient department settings yielded higher positive test results indicating a need to focus on these settings in order to improve adolescent case-finding.