Adapting the HIV infant tracking system to support prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Kenya: Protocol for an intervention development pilot study in two hospitals

Sarah Finocchario-Kessler, May Maloba, Melinda Brown, Brad Gautney, Kathy Goggin, Catherine Wexler, Natabhona Mabachi, Beryne Odeny, Silas Lagat, Sharon Koech, Jacinda K. Dariotis, Thomas A. Odeny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite progress to expand access to HIV testing and treatment during pregnancy in Kenya, gaps still remain in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. This study addresses the need for effective and scalable interventions to support women throughout the continuum of care for PMTCT services in low-resource settings. Our research team has successfully implemented the HIV Infant Tracking System (HITSystem), a Web-based, system-level intervention to improve early infant diagnosis (EID) outcomes. Objective: This study will expand the scope of the HITSystem to address PMTCT services to bridge the gap between maternal and pediatric HIV services and improve outcomes. This paper describes the intervention development protocol to adapt and pilot an HITSystem version 2.0 to assess acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary PMTCT outcomes in Kenya. Methods: This is a 3-year intervention development study to adapt the current HITSystem intervention to support a range of PMTCT outcomes including appointment attendance, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, hospital deliveries, and integration of maternal and pediatric HIV services in low-resource settings. The study will be conducted in 3 phases. Phase 1 will elicit feedback from intervention users (patients and providers) to guide development and refinement of the new PMTCT components and inform optimal implementation. In Phase 2, we will design and develop the HITSystem 2.0 features to support key PMTCT outcomes guided by clinical content experts and findings from Phase 1. Phase 3 will assess complete PMTCT retention (before, during, and after delivery) using a matched randomized pilot study design in 2 hospitals over 18 months. A total of N=108 HIV-positive pregnant women (n=54 per site) will be enrolled and followed from their first PMTCT appointment until infant HIV DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction testing at the target age of 6 weeks (<7 weeks) postnatal. Results: Funding for this study was received in August 2015, enrollment in Phase 1 began in March 2016, and completion of data collection is expected by May 2019. Conclusions: This protocol will extend, adapt, and pilot an HITSystem 2.0 version to improve attendance of PMTCT appointments, increase ART adherence and hospital-based deliveries, and prompt EID by 6 weeks postnatal. The HITSystem 2.0 aims to improve the integration of maternal and pediatric HIV services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13268
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Diagnosis
  • EHealth
  • HIV
  • Infant
  • Kenya
  • Medication adherence
  • MHealth
  • Pregnancy
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Adapting the HIV infant tracking system to support prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Kenya: Protocol for an intervention development pilot study in two hospitals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this