The first round of the Population Cohort (PC0) came to an end in March 2015 and during which time 19,711 participants from across all the study communities in Zambia were enrolled. The second round of the Population Cohort (PC12) began in July 2015, and all the sites are expected to follow – up the participants that were enrolled in PC0 and achieve a retention rate of 95 per cent.
The key objectives of this round is to retain all the participants and conduct the same activities that were undertaken during PC0. Continued participation in the follow-up year is essential to determine whether door-to-door HIV testing and immediate treatment for those who are found to be HIV positive can reduce the spread of HIV in their communities.
Because the overall target for PC0 was not reached, the study will continue to recruit or enroll new participants in the second year as well to ensure the target of 2000 and above in each community is “This is called PC12 N and more staff have been recruited in 9 communities that did not reach the initial target to ensure that we achieve our enrolment target. The PC12N was activated recently in 9 communities in October 2015,” explained PC Coordinator, Dr Mohammed Limbada.
Dr Limbada said, “In PC12, we have encountered some challenges in retaining participants which include relocation of participants to communities beyond our catchment area; difficulties in finding participants due to change in their work schedules and being at work and participants needing The teams have been actively strategizing on how to best to ensure that we reach a target of 95 percent retention and this includes providing technical support in the field, community sensitizations and working at odd hours in the field to find the participants.