The HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis group at the University of Bern, in collaboration with the Malawi Ministry of Health, is evaluating Malawi’s national HIV treatment program. Our core project is evaluating Option B+, the newly introduced program designed to minimize mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Malawi. Together, we will conduct a mixed-methods study to assess the effectiveness of Option B+.
The quantitative arm of the study takes a naturalistic approach, and uses a large sample of routinely collected data and advanced statistical methods to evaluate the way the program works in the real world. The qualitative arm of the study will determine why some centers have a better retention record than others, and seek possible points of intervention, in the health care system and in the community, to improve uptake and better retain HIV-positive women on antiretroviral therapy. We emphasize capacity building and encourage scientists, students and funders from Malawi and elsewhere to join their efforts with ours. Information on participation is available for both researchers and potential sponsors. The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and NIH PEER Health through the end of 2016.