Community acceptability of dolutegravir-based HIV treatment in women: a qualitative study in South Africa and Uganda

Alhassan, Yussif, Twimukye, Adelline, Malaba, Thoko, Orrell, Catherine, Myer, Landon, Waitt, Catriona ORCID: 0000-0003-0134-5855, Lamorde, Mohammed, Kambugu, Andrew, Reynolds, Helen ORCID: 0000-0001-7443-4520, Khoo, Saye
et al (show 1 more authors) (2020) Community acceptability of dolutegravir-based HIV treatment in women: a qualitative study in South Africa and Uganda. BMC Public Health, 20 (1). 1883-.

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>Despite concerns about dolutegravir use in pregnancy, most low- and middle-income countries are accelerating the introduction of dolutegravir-based regimens into national antiretroviral treatment programmes. Questions remain about the acceptability of dolutegravir use in women due to the potential risks in pregnancy. This study from South Africa and Uganda explored community values, preferences and attitudes towards the use of dolutegravir-based regimens in women.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>This study employed a qualitative design involving in-depth interviews and focus group discussion conducted between August 2018 to March 2019. The study was conducted in the months following an announcement of a potential risk for neural tube defects with dolutegravir use among women during conception and the first trimester. Participants included HIV positive pregnant and lactating women and their partners. They were selected purposively from urban poor communities in South Africa and Uganda. Data was analysed thematically in NVivo.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>Forty-four in-depth interviews and 15 focus group discussions were conducted. Most participants had positive views of dolutegravir-based regimens and perceived it to be more desirable compared with efavirenz-containing regimens. There was widespread concern about use of dolutegravir during pregnancy and among women of childbearing age due to publicity around the possible association with neural tube defects. Acceptability was gendered, with nearly all male participants preferring their female spouses of childbearing potential not to use dolutegravir, while most women not planning pregnancy wanted access to contraception alongside dolutegravir. Community awareness and knowledge of dolutegravir was low and characterised by negative information. Women were concerned about HIV-related stigma and wanted the privacy features of dolutegravir to be strengthened with modification of the pill appearance and disguised packaging.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title> <jats:p>Dolutegravir-based regimens were found to be generally acceptable for use in women except during pregnancy. Interest in a dolutegravir-based regimen was linked with its perceived potential to enhance health, privacy and reduce stigma while concerns about neural tube defects were the main potential barrier to dolutegravir uptake in women. In order to optimise the community acceptability and uptake of acceptability-based regimen among women it is critical to strengthen community awareness and understanding of dolutegravir treatment, improve contraception services alongside the introduction of dolutegravir, and engage with male partners.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acceptability, Dolutegravir-based regimen, HIV treatment, Qualitative study, Uganda, South Africa
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 09:29
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:06
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-09991-w
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