Madut DB, Manavalan P, Mtalo A, Peter TA, Ostermann J, Njau B, Thielman NM. Increasing the Uptake of HIV Testing among Men in Tanzania: A Novel Intervention for Bar Patrons. AIDS and behavior. 2021 Jul;25(25). 2014-2022. PMID: 33389376 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC8169552 NIHMSID: NIHMS1674366.
We investigated a novel community-based HIV testing and counseling (HTC) strategy by recruiting men from bars in northern Tanzania in order to identify new HIV infections. All bars in the town of Boma Ng'ombe were identified and male patrons were systematically invited to participate in a health study. HIV testing was offered to all enrolled participants. Outputs included HIV test yield, cost per diagnosis, and comparison of our observed test yield to that among male patients contemporaneously tested at five local facility-based HTC. We enrolled 366 participants and identified 17 new infections - providing a test yield of 5.3% (95% Confidence interval [CI] 3.3-8.4). The test yield among men contemporaneously tested at five local HTC centers was 2.1% (95% CI 1.6-2.8). The cost-per-diagnosis was $634. Our results suggest that recruiting male bar patrons for HIV testing is efficient for identifying new HIV infections. The scalability of this intervention warrants further evaluation.