BACKGROUND: Latest WHO guidelines recommend starting HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy treatment (ART) regardless of CD4 count. We assessed additional impact of adopting new WHO guidelines.
METHODS: We used data of individuals aged 15-59 years from three HIV population surveys conducted in 2012 (Kenya) and 2013 (Malawi and South Africa). Individuals were interviewed at home followed by rapid HIV and CD4 testing if tested HIV-positive. HIV-positive individuals were classified as "eligible for ART" if (i) had ever been initiated on ART or (ii) were not yet on ART but met the criteria for starting ART based on country's guidelines at the time of the survey (Kenya-CD4
FINDINGS: Of 18,991 individuals who tested, 4,113 (21.7%) were HIV-positive. Using country's ART eligibility guidelines at the time of the survey, the proportion of HIV-infected individuals eligible for ART was 60.0% (95% CI: 57.2-62.7) (Kenya), 73.4% (70.8-75.8) (South Africa) and 80.1% (77.3-82.6) (Malawi). Applying WHO 2013 guidelines (eligibility at CD4
CONCLUSION: Countries that have already implemented 2013 WHO recommendations, the burden of implementing "test and treat" would be small. Youth friendly programmes to help adolescents access and adhere to treatment will be needed.