Implementation of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis and isoniazid preventive therapy for people living with HIV
Anand A Date, Marco Vitoria, Reuben Granich, Mazuwa Banda, Mayada Youssef Fox & Charlie Gilks
To measure progress in implementing co-trimoxazole prophylaxis (CTXp) (trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole) and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) policy recommendations, identify barriers to the development of national policies and pinpoint challenges to implementation.
In 2007 we conducted by e-mail a cross-sectional survey of World Health Organization (WHO) HIV/AIDS programme officers in 69 selected countries having a high burden of infection with HIV or HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB). The specially-designed, self-administered questionnaire contained items covering national policies for CTXp and IPT in people living with HIV, current level of implementation and barriers to developing or implementing these policies.
The 41 (59%) respondent countries, representing all WHO regions, comprised 85% of the global burden of HIV-associated TB and 82% of the global burden of HIV infection. Thirty-eight countries (93%) had an established national policy for CTXp, but only 66% of them (25/38) had achieved nationwide implementation. For IPT, 21 of 41 countries (51%) had a national policy but only 28% of them (6/21) had achieved nationwide implementation. Despite significant progress in the development of CTXp policy, the limited availability of co-trimoxazole for this indication and inadequate systems to manage drug supply impeded nationwide implementation. Inadequate intensified tuberculosis case-finding and concerns regarding isoniazid resistance were challenges to the development and implementation of national IPT policies.
Despite progress in implementing WHO-recommended CTXp and IPT policies, these interventions remain underused. Urgent steps are required to facilitate the development and implementation of these policies.