Background: Knowledge of HIV status remains a challenge despite implementation of various testing strategies including provider-initiated HIV testing (PITC). Harare City intensified provider-initiated HIV testing by targeting testing all eligible clients visiting facilities to achieve the UNAIDS first 95. This study aimed at evaluating the intervention to improve its effectiveness and inform programming decisions for universal access to HIV testing.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Harare from April to June 2019. Evaluation of the intervention was conducted using the logic model approach to assess the inputs, processes and outputs. Health workers were interviewed using an interviewer administered questionnaire. Exit interviews were conducted for eligible clients >18 years who refused to be tested. A checklist was used to assess the inputs used and a desk review of HIV screening and testing records was done. .
Results: A total of (n-45) health care workers and (n=70) clients were interviewed with a response rate of (92%) and (84%) respectively. The median age for clients was 31(Q1=24: Q3=38) and median years in service for health workers was 2 (Q1=1;Q3=26). Of the 133 899 clients who were eligible for testing after screening, 98 587 (74%) accepted the test leaving a gap of 35 312 (26%). However, 21/45 (47 %) of health workers indicated high workload in the morning as the major reason for the leakage. In addition, 25/70 (36 %) of the clients indicated long waiting time as the reason for opting out of HIV testing.
Conclusion and Recommendation: HIV testing coverage for eligible clients was not optimal, 26% opted out. We recommend strengthening of health facility systems such as review of patient flow, re-allocation of staff during busy HIV testing time and scaling up the use of HIV self-test kits for clients concerned with waiting time to improve HIV testing coverage.