HIV testing, care, and treatment

Orphans and other vulnerable children


University of North Carolina






Suzanne Maman, University of North Carolina

Supporting Engagement in Care and Treatment among Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review


The issue

Various strategies are currently implemented in countries around the world to improve engagement in care and adherence to treatment for young people living with HIV. These interventions are often complex and applied in diverse contexts, and available evidence about their theoretical underpinnings and effectiveness is limited.


Our approach

Project SOAR is conducting a scoping review and evidence synthesis of these interventions to help make sense of the data and to inform policy. We are identifying articles and grey literature published in the past 15 years that focus on interventions to support engagement in HIV care, retention or adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) ages 0-18 from countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The review will include qualitative and quantitative studies with potential outcomes of interest including viral suppression; retained in care after 6 months, 12 months or 18 months; treatment adherence; and engagement in care overall and based on the time since diagnosis. We will extract data on study characteristics, participant characteristics, intervention and setting, and results. Qualitative themes include existing strategies used to promote HIV treatment and support adherence among OVC and their caretakers; and barriers to HIV treatment uptake, adherence, and engagement in care among HIV-positive OVC.


The quantitative and qualitative results will be synthesized in a manuscript for a peer-reviewed publication and a results brief for policy- and/or program-focused audiences.


The impact

This systematic review on interventions to support engagement in care and adherence to ART among OVC will help inform national policy and donor-funded programs in countries of sub-Saharan Africa.