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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 453-459

Predictors of loss to follow-up in patients living with HIV/AIDS after initiation of antiretroviral therapy

1 Department of Public Health, Aman College of Health Sciences, Mizan-Teferi, Ethiopia
2 Department of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Teferi, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Salahuddin Mohammed
Department of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Teferi, P.O BOX: 260
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.141636

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Background: Long-term regular follow up of ART is an important component of HIV care. Patients who are lost to follow-up (LTFU) while on treatment compromise their own health and the long-term success of ART programs. Aim: This study was aimed at determining the incidence and risk factors for LTFU in HIV patients on ART at ART clinic of Mizan-Aman General Hospital, Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 2133 people living with HIV/AIDS and attending an ART clinic between 2005 and 2013 was undertaken. LTFU was defined as not taking an ART refill for a period of 3 months or longer from the last attendance for refill and not yet classified as 'dead' or 'transferred-out'. The log-rank test was used to measure differences in time to LTFU between groups and Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to measure predictors of LTFU. Results: Of 2133 patients, 53.9% were female. The mean (SD) age of the cohort was 31.5 (8.0), 16 (2.2), and 3.8 (3.0) years for adults, adolescents, and children, respectively. Around 574 (26.7%) patients were defined as LTFU. The cumulative incidence of LTFU was 8.8 (95% CIs 8.1-9.6) per 1000 person months. Patients with regimen substitution (HR 5.2; 95% CIs 3.6-7.3), non-isoniazid (INH) prophylaxis (HR 3.7; 95% CIs 2.3-6.2), adolescent (HR 2.1; 95% CIs 1.3-3.4), and had a baseline CD 4 count < 200 cells/mm 3 (HR 1.7, 95% CIs 1.3-2.2) were at higher risk of LTFU. WHO clinical stage III (HR 0.6; 95% CIs 0.4-0.9) and IV (HR 0.8; 95% CIs 0.6-1.0) patients at entry were less likely to be LTFU than clinical stage I patients. There was no significant difference in risk of LTFU in males and females. Conclusion: Overall, these data suggested that LTFU in this study was high. Patients phase of life, drug related factors, and clinical stages were associated with LTFU in this study. Effective control measures in the at-risk population need to be implemented to improve retention.

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