Introduction: Differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV are being scaled up in the expectation that they will improve the quality and efficiency of treatment delivery and reduce costs while maintaining at least equivalent clinical outcomes. Even this minimum requirement of equivalent clinical outcomes is poorly documented for most models and settings, however. We reviewed the recent literature on DSD models to describe what is known about clinical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a rapid systematic review of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science and major international conference abstracts that reported outcomes of DSD models for the provision of ART in sub-Saharan Africa from January 1, 2016 to September 12, 2019. Sources reporting standard clinical HIV treatment metrics, primarily retention in care and viral load suppression, were reviewed and categorized by DSD model and source quality assessed. Results and Discussion: Twenty-nine papers and abstracts describing 37 DSD models and reporting 52 discrete outcomes met search inclusion criteria. Of the 37 models, 7 (19%) were facility-based individual models, 12 (32%) out-of-facility based individual models, 5 (14%) client-led groups, and 13 (35%) healthcare worker-led groups. Retention was reported for 73% of the models and viral suppression for 57%. Where a comparison with conventional care was provided, retention in most DSD models was within 5% of that for conventional care; where no comparison was provided, retention generally exceeded 80%. For viral suppression, all those with a comparison to conventional care reported a small increase in suppression in the DSD model; reported suppression exceeded 90% in 11/21 models. Analysis was limited by the extensive heterogeneity of study designs, outcomes, models, and populations. Most sources did not provide comparisons with conventional care, and metrics for assessing outcomes varied widely and were in many cases poorly defined. Conclusion: Existing evidence on the clinical outcomes of DSD models for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa is limited in both quantity and quality but suggests that retention in care and viral suppression are roughly equivalent to those in conventional models of care.
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