A Multi-Disciplinary Care Model for People with Drug-Resistant HIV: The AMPATH HIV Drug Resistance Clinic in Kenya
Background: HIV mortality has decreased with the availability of ART (antiretroviral therapy) in resource-limited settings, resulting in an increase in the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) globally. This increase in PLHIV has shifted the HIV-care model from an acute to a chronic approach requiring more effort to combat barriers to viral suppression such as long-term adherence to ART, stigma, and drug resistance. An increasing number of PLHIV are failing “2nd line” protease-inhibitor based ART as a result of these barriers, leaving these patients with limited options for treatment. To address this issue, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) created a multidisciplinary HIV-drug resistance clinic focusing on supporting patients failing second-line ART in 2015. The objective of this study is to describe the implementation of the AMPATH DRC in western Kenya.
Methods: The HIV Drug Resistance Clinic (DRC) accepts patients from over 20 surrounding HIV clinics in a setting with over 100,000 PLHIV. The DRC identifies and enrolls patients failing second-line ART defined as ≥ 2 viral loads ≥ 1,000 copies/mL despite adherence interventions. The multidisciplinary team consists of HIV-specialist physicians, trained HIV-peer counselors, clinical pharmacists, and social workers who collaborate with patients in clinic to identify barriers to adherence and implement patient-centered interventions to mitigate barriers to adherence, treat drug resistance, and maximize the efficacy of ART. The DRC staff has expertise in ART regimen selection for patients with advance HIV drug resistance through analysis of drug resistant test results (i.e. HIV genotype). Over 600 patients have received care at the DRC since 2015.
Personal role: Identifying barriers and facilitators to implementation of DRCs in regional AMPATH sites, data abstraction to determine DRC clinical outcomes, and introduction of DRT results in the AMPATH MRS.
Moving Forward: By building the capacity of clinical leaders in decentralized regional AMPATH sites, we hope to expand the DRC care model within the AMPATH network.