With the advent of universal eligibility for HIV treatment ("treat all") and same-day and community-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, retention in care after a patient has started ART remains the main challenge to achieving optimal outcomes in HIV treatment programs. Consistently across both time and geography, the highest risk for loss from care is during a patient's first six months after ART initiation, with about quarter of all patients not retained by the end of month 6. One of the reasons for the high attrition from care in this early retention period is that the model of care offered to most newly-initiating and re-initiating patients has barely evolved from its original outlines. Patients in their first six months on ART are generally not eligible for lower-intensity, patient-centered "differentiated service delivery" models that make remaining in care easier for experienced patients. Instead, most early patients must still make multiple clinic visits that include clinical consultations with providers, and most can receive only 1-2 month supplies of medications at a time. This protocol is for the PREFER-South Africa study, an activity of the Retain6 project. Retain6 aims to develop new models of care for patients' first six months on ART. PREFER-South Africa will collect data on patients' characteristics, clinical and non-clinical needs, and preferences for different types of services during their first six months after initiating ART. The investigators will conduct an observational, prospective cohort survey of newly-initiated or re-initiated adult ART patients at a selected set of 18 healthcare facilities in South Africa. Results are expected to inform the design of better models of service delivery for the early treatment period.



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Living with HIV and on ART for 0-6 six months at the study site - ≥ 18 years old (18 and older considered adult for research purposes in South Africa) - Presented at the study site for routine HIV-related care - Provide written informed consent to participate. - For patients providing a dried blood spot specimen, initiating or re-initiating ART at the study enrollment visit.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Unable to communicate in any of the languages into which the questionnaire has been translated or that is known to the research assistant - Not physically, mentally, or emotionally able to participate in the study, in the opinion of the investigators or study staff - Unwilling to take the time required to complete the questionnaire on the day of consent

Study Design

Study Type
Observational Model
Time Perspective

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Participants Adult patients within 6 months of ART initiation or re-initiation
  • Other: Survey
    Interviewer-administered survey
  • Other: Focus group
    Focus group for selected participants

More Details

Boston University

Study Contact

Sydney Rosen


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.