Imperial College London

Dr Tanvi Rai

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Visiting Researcher







Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





Publication Type

6 results found

Ensor S, Davies B, Rai T, Ward Het al., 2019, The effectiveness of demand creation interventions for voluntary male medical circumcision for HIV prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa; a mixed methods systematic review, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Vol: 22, Pages: 40-53, ISSN: 1758-2652

IntroductionUNAIDS has recommended that in 14 countries across sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA), 90% of men aged 10 to 29 years should be circumcised by 2021 to help reduce transmission of HIV. To achieve this target demand creation programmes have been widely implemented to increase demand for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC). This review explores the effectiveness of demand creation interventions and factors affecting programme implementation.MethodsWe completed a mixed methods systematic review searching Medline, Embase, Global health, psycINFO and CINAHL databases in August 2018 with no time restrictions. Demand creation interventions conducted in SSA were categorized and quantitative data about VMMC uptake was used to compare relative and absolute effectiveness of interventions. Qualitative data were summarized into themes relevant to the delivery and impact of programmes.Results and discussionEighteen of the 904 titles were included in the review. Effective interventions were identified in each demand creation category: financial incentives, counselling or education, involvement of influencers and novel information delivery. Of the 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the greatest absolute impact on VMMC prevalence was seen with a complex intervention including VMMC promotion training for religious leaders (compared to control: 23% (95% CI 22.8 to 23.8) absolute increase; odds ratio (OR) 3.2 (1.4 to 7.3)). Financial incentives generally produced the largest relative effects with men up to seven‐times more likely to undergo VMMC in the intervention arm compared to control (adjusted OR 7.1 (95% CI 2.4 to 20.8), 7.1% (3.7 to 10.5) absolute increase). Qualitative findings suggest that interventions are more impactful when they are judged appropriate and acceptable by the target population; delivered by people with relevant personal experience; and addressing broader social and cultural influences through partnership with and education of community leaders.Con

Journal article

Rai T, Bruton P, Day S, Ward Het al., 2018, From activism to secrecy: contemporary experiences of living with HIV in London in people diagnosed from 1986 to 2014, Health Expectations, Vol: 21, Pages: 1134-1141, ISSN: 1369-6513

Background:Successes in biomedicine have transformed HIV from a debilitating and frequently fatal infection to a chronic, manageable condition. Objective:To explore how the contemporary metanarrative of HIV as a chronic condition is understood by patients and how it varies depending on when they were diagnosed.Design:Qualitative interviews with fifty-two people living with HIV who were diagnosed during different phases in the history of the epidemic. Setting and participantsParticipants were recruited from two HIV clinics in London to include four “HIV generations”: generation 1 were those who had been diagnosed pre-1997 (pre-ART), generation 2 from 1997-2005 (complex ART), generation 3 from 2006-2012 (simpler ART) and generation 4 were diagnosed in the year before the study (2013-2014). Results: Participants in all HIV generations took their medication as prescribed, attended clinic appointments and were well-informed about their immunological biomarkers. While the pre-treatment generation had been engaged in community endeavours such as activism, public education and use of support groups, those more recently diagnosed had little experience of collective activities and their HIV was essentially a private matter, separate from their social identity. These strategies worked for some however those experiencing clinical or social problems related to HIV or wider issues often relied exclusively on their HIV clinic for wider support. Conclusion:The loss of public conversation around HIV, the imperative for patients to take on greater individual responsibility for HIV management and the streamlining of HIV services alongside reductions in ancillary support services may expose some people to suboptimal health outcomes.

Journal article

Bruton PJ, Rai T, Day S, Ward Het al., 2018, Patient perspectives on the HIV continuum of care in London: a qualitative study of people diagnosed between 1986 and 2014, BMJ Open, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objectives: To describe the experiences of the HIV treatment cascade of diagnosis, engagement with care and initiation of treatment, from the perspective of patients; we explored whether this differed according to the year of their diagnosis, for example whether they had experienced HIV care in the pre-treatment era.Design: Qualitative interview study with framework analysisSetting: Two large HIV adult outpatient clinics in central London. Participants: 52 HIV positive individuals, 41 men, 11 women, purposively sampled to include people who had been diagnosed at different stages in the history of the epidemic classified as four ‘generations’: pre-1996 (pre-ART), 1997 to 2005 (complex ARTs), 2006 to 2012 (simpler ARTs), 2013 onwards (recent diagnoses).Results: Some important differences were identified; for earlier generations, the visible illness and deaths from AIDS made it harder to engage with care following diagnosis. Subsequent decisions about starting treatment were deeply influenced by the fear of severe side-effects from early antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, despite improvements in ART and life expectancy over the epidemic we found a striking similarity across participants’ accounts of the key stages of the care continuum, regardless of when they were diagnosed. Diagnosis was a major traumatic life event for almost everyone, fear of testing positive or having low self-perceived risk affected the timing of testing and diagnosis, engaging with care was facilitated by a flexible approach from services/clinicians and initiating treatment was a major life decision. Conclusion: We found patients’ experiences are influenced by when they were diagnosed, with earliest cohorts facing substantial challenges. However, being diagnosed with HIV and starting treatment continue to be significant life-altering events even in the era of effective, simple treatments. Despite the advances of biomedical treatment services should continue to recogn

Journal article

Rai T, Lambert H, Ward H, 2016, Migration as a risk and a livelihood strategy: HIV across the life course of migrant families in India, Global Public Health, Vol: 12, Pages: 381-395, ISSN: 1744-1706

Migrant workers are understood to be vulnerable to HIV. However, little is known about the experience of migration-based households following HIV infection. This qualitative study examined the migration-HIV relationship beyond the point of infection, looking at how it affects livelihood choices, household relationships and the economic viability of migrant families. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 33 HIV-positive migrant men and women recruited from an anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre in north India. Following infection among the migrant men, contact with free, public-sector HIV services was often made late, after the development of debilitating symptoms, abandonment of migrant work and return to native villages. After enrolment at the ART centre participants’ health eventually stabilised but they now faced serious economic debt, an inflexible treatment regimen and reduced physical strength. Insecure migrant job markets, monthly drug collection and discriminatory employment policies impeded future migration plans. HIV-positive wives of migrants occupied an insecure position in the rural marital household that depended on their husbands’ health and presence of children. The migration-HIV relationship continued to shape the life course of migrant families beyond the point of infection, often exposing them again to the economic insecurity that migration had helped to overcome, threatening their long-term survival.

Journal article

Rai T, Lambert HS, Ward H, 2015, Complex routes into HIV care for migrant workers: a qualitative study from north India, Aids Care-Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of Aids/Hiv, Vol: 27, Pages: 1418-1423, ISSN: 1360-0451

Migrant workers are designated a bridge population in the spread of HIV and therefore if infected, should be diagnosed and treated early. This study examined pathways to HIV diagnosis and access to care for rural-to-urban circular migrant workers and partners of migrants in northern India, identifying structural, social and individual level factors that shaped their journeys into care. We conducted a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with HIV-positive men (n = 20) and women (n = 13) with a history of circular migration, recruited from an antiretroviral therapy centre in one district of Uttar Pradesh, north India. Migrants and partners of migrants faced a complex series of obstacles to accessing HIV testing and care. Employment insecurity, lack of entitlement to sick pay or subsidised healthcare at destination and the household's economic reliance on their migration-based livelihood led many men to continue working until they became incapacitated by HIV-related morbidity. During periods of deteriorating health they often exhausted their savings on private treatments focused on symptom management, and sought HIV testing and treatment at a public hospital only following a medical or financial emergency. Wives of migrants had generally been diagnosed following their husbands' diagnosis or death, with access to testing and treatment mediated via family members. For some, a delay in disclosure of husband's HIV status led to delays in their own testing. Diagnosing and treating HIV infection early is important in slowing down the spread of the epidemic and targeting those at greatest risk should be a priority. However, despite targeted campaigns, circumstances associated with migration may prevent migrant workers and their partners from accessing testing and treatment until they become sick. The insecurity of migrant work, the dominance of private healthcare and gender differences in health-seeking behaviour delay early diagnosis and tr

Journal article

Rai T, Lambert HS, Borquez AB, Saggurti N, Mahapatra B, Ward Het al., 2014, Circular Labor Migration and HIV in India: Exploring Heterogeneity in Bridge Populations Connecting Areas of High and Low HIV Infection Prevalence, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol: 210, Pages: S556-S561, ISSN: 1537-6613

BACKGROUND:The emerging human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics in rural areas of India are hypothesized to be linked to circular migrants who are introducing HIV from destination areas were the prevalence of HIV infection is higher. We explore the heterogeneity in potential roles of circular migrants in driving an HIV epidemic in a rural area in north India and examine the characteristics of the "sustaining bridge population", which comprises individuals at risk of HIV acquisition at destination and of HIV transmission into networks at origin capable of sustaining an epidemic.METHODS:Results of a behavioral survey of 639 male migrants from Azamgarh district, India, were analyzed using χ(2) tests and logistic regression.RESULTS:We estimated the size of various subgroups defined by specific sexual behaviors across different locations and over time. Only 20% fit our definition of a sustaining bridge population, with the majority making no apparent contribution to geographical connectedness between high- and low-prevalence areas. However, we found evidence of sexual contacts at origin that could potentially sustain an epidemic once HIV is introduced. Variables associated with sustaining bridge population membership were self-perceived HIV risk, current migrant status, and age.CONCLUSIONS:Circular migrants represent a heterogeneous population in terms of their role as a bridge group. Self-perception of heightened risk could be exploited in designing prevention programs.

Journal article

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