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Determinants of time to antiretroviral treatment initiation and subsequent mortality on treatment in a cohort in rural northern Malawi.

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Brown, Jeremy Philip, Ngwira, Bagrey, Tafatatha, Terence, Crampin, Amelia Catharine, French, Neil and Koole, Olivier (2016) 'Determinants of time to antiretroviral treatment initiation and subsequent mortality on treatment in a cohort in rural northern Malawi.'. AIDS research and therapy, Vol 13, p. 24.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND
To optimise care HIV patients need to be promptly initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and subsequently retained on treatment. In this study we report on the interval between enrolment and treatment initiation, and investigate subsequent attrition and mortality of patients on ART at a rural clinic in Malawi.

METHODS
HIV-positive individuals were recruited to a cohort study between January 2008 and August 2011 at Chilumba Rural Hospital (CRH). Outcomes were ascertained, up to 7 years after enrolment, through follow-up and by linkage to ART registers and the Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS). Kaplan-Meier methods and Cox regression were used to examine ART initiation after enrolment, mortality after ART initiation, and attrition after ART initiation.

RESULTS
Of the 617 individuals recruited, 523 initiated ART between January 2008 and January 2015. Median time from HIV testing to commencement of ART was 59 days (IQR: 10-330). By a year after enrolment 74.2 % (95 % CI 70.6-77.7 %) had initiated ART. Baseline clinical data at ART initiation and data on attrition was only available for the 438 individuals who initiated ART during active follow-up, between January 2008 and August 2011. Of these individuals, 6 were missing Ministry of Health numbers, leaving 432 included in analyses of attrition and mortality. At 4 years after ART initiation 71.3 % (95 % CI 65.7-76.2 %) of these patients were retained on treatment at the CRH and 17.2 % (95 % CI 13.8-21.4 %) had died. Participants who had a lower CD4 count at enrolment (≤350 cells/μl), enrolled in 2008, or tested for HIV at the CRH rather than through serosurveys, initiated treatment faster. Once on treatment, mortality rates were higher in patients who were HIV tested at the CRH, male, older (≥35 years), missing a CD4 count, or underweight (BMI < 18.5) at ART initiation.

CONCLUSIONS
Through linkage to the KHDSS and ART registers it was possible to continue follow-up beyond the end of the initial cohort study. Annual mortality after ART initiation remained considerable over a period of 4 years. Greater access to HIV and CD4 testing alongside initiation at higher CD4 counts, as planned in the test and treat strategy, could reduce this mortality.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84 Health services. Delivery of health care
WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 950 Theory or methods of medical statistics. Epidemiologic methods
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.2 Therapy
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12981-016-0110-2
Depositing User: Jessica Jones
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2016 13:56
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:12
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5977

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