Treatment Outcomes after Seven Years of Public-sector HIV treatment at the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES:: To assess outcomes over the first seven years of antiretroviral therapy at Themba Lethu Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa. DESIGN:: Observational cohort study. METHODS:: Patients are managed according to South African National Treatment Guidelines. Mortality is ascertained through linkage with the national vital registration system. Loss to follow-up is defined as ≥3 months late for the last scheduled appointment. RESULTS:: Between April 2004 and March 2010, 13,227 patients initiated ART, increasing from 1,794 in the year 2004/5 to 2,481 in 2009/10. Median CD4 at ART initiation increased 39% between 2004 and 2009 (82 vs. 114 cells/mm). The proportion who died within one year on ART was below 11% at all time points, while the proportion lost by one year increased from 8.5% in 2004 to 12.1% in 2009 (RR: 1.42; 95%CI: 1.18-1.71).We followed the 1,794 patients initiated in April 2004-March 2005 through August, 2011 for 8,172 person-years. We estimated 25% of patients were lost and 16% died. The overall mortality rate was 3.59/100 PY (95%CI: 3.20-4.02). Of the 1,577 who completed ≥6 months of follow up, 213 (13.5%) failed first-line treatment in a median (IQR) of 25.9 (15.8-41.4) months on treatment. Of those who failed, 141 (66.2%) switched to second-line for a rate of 48.5/100 PY (95%CI: 41.1-57.2). CONCLUSIONS:: Despite some improvements over seven years, more intervention is needed in the first year on treatment to reduce overall attrition.
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ABSTRACT: Improved access to anti-retroviral therapy increases the need for affordable monitoring using assays such as CD4 and/or viral load in resource-limited settings. Barriers to accessing treatment, high rates of loss to initiation and poor retention in care are prompting the need to find alternatives to conventional centralized laboratory testing in certain countries. Strong advocacy has led to a rapidly expanding repertoire of point-of-care tests for HIV. point-of-care testing is not without its challenges: poor regulatory control, lack of guidelines, absence of quality monitoring and lack of industry standards for connectivity, to name a few. The management of HIV increasingly requires a multidisciplinary testing approach involving hematology, chemistry, and tests associated with the management of non-communicable diseases, thus added expertise is needed. This is further complicated by additional human resource requirements and the need for continuous training, a sustainable supply chain, and reimbursement strategies. It is clear that to ensure appropriate national implementation either in a tiered laboratory model or a total decentralized model, clear country-specific assessments need to be conducted.BMC Medicine 09/2014; 12(1):173. DOI:10.1186/s12916-014-0173-7 · 7.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction While momentum for increasing treatment thresholds is growing, if patients cannot be retained in HIV care from the time of testing positive through long-term adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), such strategies may fall short of expected gains. While estimates of retention on ART exist, few cohorts have data on retention from testing positive through long-term ART care. Methods We explored attrition (loss or death) at the Themba Lethu HIV clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa in 3 distinct cohorts enrolled at HIV testing, pre-ART initiation, and ART initiation. Results Between March 2010 and August 2012 we enrolled 380 patients testing HIV+, 206 initiating pre-ART care, and 185 initiating ART. Of the 380 patients enrolled at testing HIV-positive, 38.7% (95%CI: 33.9–43.7%) returned for eligibility staging within ≤3 months of testing. Of the 206 enrolled at pre-ART care, 84.5% (95%CI: 79.0–88.9%) were ART eligible at their first CD4 count. Of those, 87.9% (95%CI: 82.4–92.2%) initiated ART within 6 months. Among patients not ART eligible at their first CD4 count, 50.0% (95%CI: 33.1–66.9%) repeated their CD4 count within one year of the first ineligible CD4. Among the 185 patients in the ART cohort, 22 transferred out and were excluded from further analysis. Of the remaining 163, 81.0% (95%CI: 74.4–86.5%) were retained in care through two years on treatment. Conclusions Our findings from a well-resourced clinic demonstrate continual loss from all stages of HIV care and strategies to reduce attrition from all stages of care are urgently needed.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e110252. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110252 · 3.53 Impact Factor
AIDS (London, England) 03/2014; 28 Suppl 2:S101-4. DOI:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000237 · 6.56 Impact Factor