[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Lesotho was among the first countries to adopt decentralization of care from hospitals to nurse-led health centres (HCs) to scale up the provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART). We compared outcomes between patients who started ART at HCs and hospitals in two rural catchment areas in Lesotho.
The two catchment areas comprise two hospitals and 12 HCs. Patients ≥16 years starting ART at a hospital or HC between 2008 and 2011 were included. Loss to follow-up (LTFU) was defined as not returning to the facility for ≥180 days after the last visit, no follow-up (no FUP) as not returning after starting ART, and retention in care as alive and on ART at the facility. The data were analysed using logistic regression, competing risk regression and Kaplan-Meier methods. Multivariable analyses were adjusted for sex, age, CD4 cell count, World Health Organization stage, catchment area and type of ART. All analyses were stratified by gender.
Of 3747 patients, 2042 (54.5%) started ART at HCs. Both women and men at hospitals had more advanced clinical and immunological stages of disease than those at HCs. Over 5445 patient-years, 420 died and 475 were LTFU. Kaplan-Meier estimates for three-year retention were 68.7 and 69.7% at HCs and hospitals, respectively, among women (p=0.81) and 68.8% at HCs versus 54.7% at hospitals among men (p<0.001). These findings persisted in adjusted analyses, with similar retention at HCs and hospitals among women (odds ratio (OR): 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73–1.09) and higher retention at HCs among men (OR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.20–1.96). The latter result was mainly driven by a lower proportion of patients LTFU at HCs (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.51–0.93).
In rural Lesotho, overall retention in care did not differ significantly between nurse-led HCs and hospitals. However, men seemed to benefit most from starting ART at HCs, as they were more likely to remain in care in these facilities compared to hospitals.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 11/2013; 16(1):18616. DOI:10.7448/IAS.16.1.18616 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To delineate the association between baseline socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and mortality and lost to follow-up (LTFU) in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals enrolled in antiretroviral treatment (ART) in urban Uganda.
Retrospective cohort study nested in an antiretroviral clinic-based cohort.
SES indicators including education, employment status, and a standardized wealth index, and other demographic and clinical variables were assessed at baseline among ART-treated patients in a clinic-based cohort in Kampala, Uganda. Confirmed mortality (primary outcome) and LTFU (secondary outcome) were actively ascertained over a 4-year follow-up period from 2005-2009.
Among 1763 adults (70.5% female; mean age 36.2 years (SD=8.4)) enrolled in ART, 14.4% (n=253) were confirmed dead and 19.7% (n=346) were LTFU at 4-year follow-up. No formal education (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 1.76; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.19 to 2.59), having fewer than 6 dependents (AOR 1.39; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.86), unemployment (AOR 1.98; 95% CI: 1.48 to 2.66) and housing tenure index score (a component of the wealth index) (AOR 1.11; 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.23) were significantly associated with confirmed mortality at 4 years. SES indicators were not associated with LFTU at 4 years.
Baseline SES indicators, including education, number of dependents, employment status, and components of a standard wealth index, may indicate long-term vulnerability to mortality in patients with HIV/AIDS, despite uniform access to ART. Future studies delineating the pathways through which poverty and limited assets affect clinical outcomes may lead to more effective HIV interventions in low-resource settings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concept of "treatment as prevention" has emerged as a means to curb the global HIV epidemic. There is, however, still ongoing debate about the evidence on when to start antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor settings. Critics have brought forward multiple arguments against a "test and treat" approach, including the potential burden of such a strategy on weak health systems and a presumed lack of scientific support for individual patient benefit of early treatment initiation. In this article, we highlight the societal and individual advantages of treatment as prevention in resource-poor settings. We argue that the available evidence renders the discussion on when to start antiretroviral therapy unnecessary and that, instead, efforts should be aimed at offering treatment as soon as possible.
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