The Problem of Late ART Initiation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Transient Aspect of Scale-up or a Long-term Phenomenon?

Lahuerta Sanau, Maria; Hoffman, Susie; Elul, Batya O.; Kulkarni, Sarah Gorrell; Wu, Yingfeng; Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha, Harriet; Remien, Robert H.; El-Sadr, Wafaa Mahmoud; Nash, Denis; Ue, Frances

Efforts to scale-up HIV care and treatment have been successful at initiating large numbers of patients onto antiretroviral therapy (ART), although persistent challenges remain to optimizing scale-up effectiveness in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings. Among the most important are very high rates of ART initiation in the advanced stages of HIV disease, which in turn drive morbidity, mortality, and onward transmission of HIV. With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, this review article presents a conceptual framework for a broader discussion of the persistent problem of late ART initiation, including a need for more focus on the upstream precursors (late HIV diagnosis and late enrollment into HIV care) and their determinants. Without additional research and identification of multilevel interventions that successfully promote earlier initiation of ART, the problem of late ART initiation will persist, significantly undermining the long-term impact of HIV care scale-up on reducing mortality and controlling the HIV epidemic.



Also Published In

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs
Johns Hopkins University Press
Published Here
February 19, 2014