Characteristics and outcomes of adult Ethiopian patients enrolled in HIV care and treatment: a multi-clinic observational study

Yirsaw, Zenebe M.; Lamb, Matthew R.; Wang, Chunhui; Lulseged, Sileshi; Belachaw, Tsigereda Gadisa; Ahmed, Solomon; Habtamu, Zelalem; Alemu, Hailubeza; Assefa, Tamrat; Abrams, Elaine J.

Background: We describe trends in characteristics and outcomes among adults initiating HIV care and treatment in Ethiopia from 2006-2011. Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal analysis of HIV-positive adults (≥15 years) enrolling at 56 Ethiopian health facilities from 2006–2011. We investigated trends over time in the proportion enrolling through provider-initiated counseling and testing (PITC), baseline CD4+ cell counts and WHO stage. Additionally, we assessed outcomes (recorded death, loss to follow-up (LTF), transfer, and total attrition (recorded death plus LTF)) before and after ART initiation. Kaplan-Meier techniques estimated cumulative incidence of these outcomes through 36 months after ART initiation. Factors associated with LTF and death after ART initiation were estimated using Hazard Ratios accounting for within-clinic correlation. Results: 93,418 adults enrolled into HIV care; 53,300 (57%) initiated ART. The proportion enrolled through PITC increased from 27.6% (2006–2007) to 44.8% (2010–2011) (p < .0001). Concurrently, median enrollment CD4+ cell count increased from 158 to 208 cells/mm3 (p < .0001), and patients initiating ART with advanced WHO stage decreased from 56.6% (stage III) and 15.0% (IV) in 2006–2007 to 47.6% (stage III) and 8.5% (IV) in 2010–2011. Median CD4+ cell count at ART initiation remained stable over time. 24% of patients were LTF before ART initiation. Among those initiating ART, attrition was 30% after 36 months, with most occurring within the first 6 months. Recorded death after ART initiation was 6.4% and 9.2% at 6 and 36 months, respectively, and decreased over time. Younger age, male gender, never being married, no formal education, low CD4+ cell count, and advanced WHO stage were associated with increased LTF. Recorded death was lower among younger adults, females, married individuals, those with higher CD4+ cell counts and lower WHO stage at ART initiation. Conclusions: Over time, enrollment in HIV care through outpatient PITC increased and patients enrolled into HIV care at earlier disease stages across all HIV testing points. However, median CD4+ cell count at ART initiation remained steady. Pre- and post-ART attrition (particularly in the first 6 months) have remained major challenges in ensuring prompt ART initiation and retention on ART.

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BMC Public Health

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Academic Units
International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs
Published Here
October 15, 2015