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1.  Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy and associated factors among HIV infected children in Ethiopia: unannounced home-based pill count versus caregivers’ report 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:132.
Background
The introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has brought a remarkable reduction in HIV-related mortality and morbidity both in adults and children living with HIV/AIDS. Adherence to ART is the key to the successful treatment of patients as well as containment of drug resistance. Studies based on caregivers’ report have shown that adherence to ART among children is generally good. However, subjective methods such as caregivers’ report are known to overestimate the level of adherence. This study determined the rate of adherence and its predictors using unannounced home-based pill count and compared the result with caregivers’ report in a tertiary referral hospital in Ethiopia.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted between December 1, 2011 and January 30, 2012. The study participants were 210 children on ART and their caregivers attending pediatric ART clinic of Tikur Anbessa Hospital (TAH), Addis Ababa University. Caregivers were interviewed at the ART clinic using a structured questionnaire. Then, unannounced home-based pill count was done 7 days after the interview.
Results
Caregiver-reported adherence in the past 7 days prior to interview was 93.3%. Estimated adherence using unannounced home-based pill count was found, however, to be 34.8%. On multivariate logistic regression model, children with married [aOR = 7.85 (95% CI: 2.11,29.13)] and widowed/divorced [aOR = 7.14 (95% CI: 2.00,25.46)] caregivers, those who were not aware of their HIV sero-status [aOR = 2.35 (95% CI:1.09, 5.06)], and those with baseline WHO clinical stage III/IV [OR = 3.18 (95% CI: 1.21, 8.40] were more likely to adhere to their ART treatment. On the other hand, children on d4T/3Tc/EFV combination [OR = 0.10 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.53)] were less likely to adhere to their treatment. Caregivers’ forgetfulness and child refusal to take medication were reported as the major reasons for missing doses.
Conclusion
The level of adherence based on unannounced home-based pill count was unacceptably low. Interventions are urgently needed to improve adherence to ART among children at TAH. Besides, a longitudinal study measuring adherence combined with clinical parameters (viral load and CD4 count) is needed to identify a simple and reliable measure of adherence in the study area.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-132
PMCID: PMC3766076  PMID: 24229394
Children; HAART; Adherence; Home-based unannounced pill count; Ethiopia
2.  Predictors of mortality among TB-HIV Co-infected patients being treated for tuberculosis in Northwest Ethiopia: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:297.
Background
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of mortality in high HIV-prevalence populations. HIV is driving the TB epidemic in many countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to assess predictors of mortality among TB-HIV co-infected patients being treated for TB in Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods
An institution-based retrospective cohort study was conducted between April, 2009 and January, 2012. Based on TB, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and pre-ART registration records, TB-HIV co-infected patients were categorized into “On ART” and “Non-ART” cohorts. A Chi-square test and a T-test were used to compare categorical and continuous variables between the two groups, respectively. A Kaplan-Meier test was used to estimate the probability of death after TB diagnosis. A log-rank test was used to compare overall mortality between the two groups. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to determine factors associated with death after TB diagnosis.
Results
A total of 422 TB-HIV co-infected patients (i.e., 272 On ART and 150 Non-ART patients) were included for a median of 197 days. The inter-quartile range (IQR) for On ART patients was 140 to 221 days and the IQR for Non-ART patients was 65.5 to 209.5 days. In the Non-ART cohort, more TB-HIV co-infected patients died during TB treatment: 44 (29.3%) Non-ART patients died, as compared to 49 (18%) On ART patients died. Independent predictors of mortality during TB treatment included: receiving ART (Adjusted Hazard Ratio (AHR) =0.35 [0.19-0.64]); not having initiated cotrimoxazole prophylactic therapy (CPT) (AHR = 3.03 [1.58-5.79]); being ambulatory (AHR = 2.10 [1.22-3.62]); CD4 counts category being 0-75cells/micro liter, 75-150cells/micro liter, or 150-250cells/micro liter (AHR = 4.83 [1.98-11.77], 3.57 [1.48-8.61], and 3.07 [1.33-7.07], respectively); and treatment in a hospital (AHR = 2.64 [1.51-4.62]).
Conclusions
Despite the availability of free ART from health institutions in Northwest Ethiopia, mortality was high among TB-HIV co-infected patients, and strongly associated with the absence of ART during TB treatment. In addition cotrimoxazol prophylactic therapy remained important factor in reduction of mortality during TB treatment. The study also noted importance of early ART even at higher CD4 counts.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-297
PMCID: PMC3703293  PMID: 23815342
Predictors; Mortality; TB-HIV; Co-infection
3.  The pattern and predictors of mortality of HIV/AIDS patients with neurologic manifestation in Ethiopia: a retrospective study 
Background
Even though the prevalence of HIV infection among the adult population in Ethiopia was estimated to be 2.2% in 2008, the studies on the pattern of neurological manifestations are rare. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the pattern and predictors of mortality of HIV/AIDS patients with neurologic manifestations.
Methods
Medical records of 347 patients (age ≥13 years) admitted to Tikur Anbesa Hospital from September 2002 to August 2009 were reviewed and demographic and clinical data were collected.
Results
Data from 347 patients were analysed. The mean age was 34.6 years. The diagnosis of HIV was made before current admission in 33.7% and 15.6% were on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Causes of neurological manifestation were: cerebral toxoplasmosis (36.6%), tuberculous meningitis (22.5%), cryptococcal meningitis (22.2%) and bacterial meningitis (6.9%). HIV-encephalopathy, primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy were rare in our patients. CD4 count was done in 64.6% and 89.7% had count below 200/mm3[mean = 95.8, median = 57] and 95.7% were stage IV. Neuroimaging was done in 38% and 56.8% had mass lesion. The overall mortality was 45% and the case-fatality rates were: tuberculous meningitis (53.8%), cryptococcal meningitis (48.1%), cerebral toxoplasmosiss (44.1%) and bacterial meningitis (33.3%). Change in sensorium and seizure were predictors of mortality.
Conclusions
CNS opportunistic infections were the major causes of neurological manifestations of HIV/AIDS and were associated with high mortality and morbidity. Almost all patients had advanced HIV disease at presentation. Early diagnosis of HIV, prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, timely ART, and improving laboratory services are recommended. Mortality was related to change in sensorium and seizure.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-9-11
PMCID: PMC3348055  PMID: 22490062
Africa; Antiretroviral therapy; Cryptococcus; Opportunistic infection; Toxoplasmosis; Tuberculosis
4.  High Loss to Followup and Early Mortality Create Substantial Reduction in Patient Retention at Antiretroviral Treatment Program in North-West Ethiopia 
ISRN AIDS  2012;2012:721720.
Background. There has been a rapid scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Ethiopia since 2005. We aimed to evaluate mortality, loss to followup, and retention in care at HIV Clinic, University of Gondar Hospital, north-west Ethiopia. Method. A retrospective patient chart record analysis was performed on adult AIDS patients enrolled in the treatment program starting from 1 March 2005. We performed survival analysis to determine, mortality, loss to followup and retention in care. Results. A total of 3012 AIDS patients were enrolled in the ART Program between March 2005 and August 2010. At the end of the 66 months of the program initiation, 61.4% of the patients were retained on treatment, 10.4% died, and 31.4% were lost to followup. Fifty-six percent of the deaths and 46% of those lost to followup occurred in the first year of treatment. Male gender (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) was 3.26; 95% CI: 2.19–4.88); CD4 count ≤200 cells/μL (AHR 5.02; 95% CI: 2.03–12.39), tuberculosis (AHR 2.91; 95% CI: 2.11–4.02); bed-ridden functional status (AHR 12.88; 95% CI: 8.19–20.26) were predictors of mortality, whereas only CD4 count <200 cells/μL (HR = 1.33; 95% CI: (0.95, 1.88) and ambulatory functional status (HR = 1.65; 95% CI: (1.22, 2.23) were significantly associated with LTF. Conclusion. Loss to followup and mortality in the first year following enrollment remain a challenge for retention of patients in care. Strengthening patient monitoring can improve patient retention AIDS care.
doi:10.5402/2012/721720
PMCID: PMC3767448  PMID: 24052883
5.  Predictors of Change in CD4 Lymphocyte Count and Weight among HIV Infected Patients on Anti-Retroviral Treatment in Ethiopia: A Retrospective Longitudinal Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e58595.
Background
Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has been introduced in Ethiopia a decade ago and continues to be scaled up. However, there is dearth of literature on the impact of ART on changes in CD4 lymphocyte count and weight among patients on treatment.
Objective
To determine the predictors of change in CD4 lymphocyte count and weight among HIV/AIDS infected patients taking antiretroviral treatment in eastern Ethiopia.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study was conducted among HIV/AIDS patients taking ART from 2005 to 2010. A sample of 1540 HIV infected adult patients who started antiretroviral therapy in hospitals located in eastern Ethiopia were included in the study. The primary outcomes of interest were changes in CD4 count and weight. Descriptive statistics and multivariable regression analyses were performed to examine the outcomes among the cohort.
Results
Both the median CD4 lymphocyte counts and weight showed improvements in the follow up periods. The multivariate analysis shows that the duration of ART was an important predictor of improvements in CD4 lymphocyte count (beta 7.91; 95% CI 7.48–8.34; p 0.000) and weight (beta 0.15; 95% CI 0.13–0.18; p 0.000). Advanced WHO clinical stage, lower baseline CD4 cell count, and baseline hemoglobin levels were factors associated with decline in weight. Actively working patients had higher CD4 lymphocyte count and weight compared to those that were ambulatory (p<0.05).
Conclusion
We detected a substantial increment in weight and CD4 lymphocyte count among the patients who were taking ART in eastern Ethiopia. Patients who are of older age, with low initial CD4 lymphocyte count, late stage of the WHO clinical stages and lower hemoglobin level may need special attention. The reasons for the improved findings on CD4 count and weight throughout the five years of follow up merit further investigation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058595
PMCID: PMC3616015  PMID: 23573191
6.  Predictors of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS in resource-limited setting of southwest ethiopia 
Background
Good adherence to antiretroviral therapy is necessary to achieve the best virological response, lower the risk that drug resistance will develop, and reduce morbidity and mortality. Little is known about the rate and predictors of adherence in Ethiopia. Therefore this study determines the magnitude and predictors of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS in Southwest Ethiopia.
Methods
A cross sectional study was carried out from January 1, 2009 to March 3, 2009 among 319 adult PLWHA (≥ 18 years) attending ART clinic at Jimma university Specialized Hospital (JUSH). Multiple Logistic regression models were constructed with adherence and independent variables to identify the predictors.
Results
About 303(95%) of the study subjects were adherent based on self report of missed doses (dose adherence) in a one-week recall before the actual interview. The rate of self reported adherence in the study based on the combined indicator of the dose, time and food adherence measurement was 72.4%. Patients who got family support were 2 times [2.12(1.25-3.59)] more likely to adhere than those who didn't get family support as an independent predictor of overall adherence (dose, time and food). The reasons given for missing drugs were 9(27.3%) running out of medication/drug, 7(21.2%) being away from home and 7(21.2%) being busy with other things.
Conclusion
The adherence rate found in this study is similar to other resource limited setting and higher than the developed country. This study highlights emphasis should be given for income generating activities and social supports that helps to remember the patients for medication taking and management of opportunistic infections during the course of treatment.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-7-39
PMCID: PMC2988692  PMID: 21034506
7.  Patterns of condom use and associated factors among adult HIV positive clients in North Western Ethiopia: a comparative cross sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:308.
Background
The introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has sharply decreased morbidity and mortality rates among HIV infected patients. Due to this, more and more people with HIV live longer and healthier lives. Yet if they practice sex without condom, those with high viral load have the potential to infect their sero-negative sexual partner or at risk of acquiring drug resistant viral strains from their sexual partner who are already infected. Hence, we aimed to assess practice of condom use and associated factors among HIV positive clients at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital in North Western Ethiopia.
Methods
Hospital based comparative cross sectional study was conducted at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital in northwest Ethiopia. Systematic random sampling technique was used to select 466 study participants from the ART and pre ART clinic of the Hospital. A structured interview administered questionnaire first prepared in English then translated into Amharic was used to collect data. Nurses who were working in the hospital but not in the HIV clinic were recruited and trained as data collectors.
Results
A total of 454 (224 respondents from ART naive and 230 ART experienced groups) were included in the study. Females constitute 151 (67.4%) and 133 (57.8%) of pre ART and ART group respectively. The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 72 years. The average age was 31.7 years for women and 36.6 years for the men. About half of the participants (47.4% of ART group and 50.4% of the pre ART group) were sexually active. Inconsistent condom use was reported by 61(56%) ART and 50 (44.2%) of the pre ART sexually active study participants.
Conclusions
The study found that those who are on ART were at lower risk of using condom inconsistently as compared to the ART naïve patients living with HIV. Therefore, these results are of high importance in order to design tailored interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-308
PMCID: PMC3426486  PMID: 22537280
8.  Survival from 9 Months of Age among HIV-Infected and Uninfected Zambian Children Prior to the Availability of Antiretroviral Therapy 
Background
Few prospective studies have measured survival rates among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected children in sub-Saharan Africa prior to the availability of antiretroviral therapy.
Methods
In the context of an observational study of the immunogenicity of measles vaccine in Zambia, we prospectively followed up children from approximately 9 months of age and assessed survival rates, risk factors for mortality, and circumstances at the time of death according to HIV-infection or HIV-exposure status.
Results
There were 56 deaths among 492 study children during follow-up to 3 years of age. Thirty-nine percent of the 105 children with HIV infection died during the study period, compared with 5.0% of the 260 HIV-seropositive but uninfected children and 1.6% of the 127 HIV-seronegative children. Estimated survival probabilities from 9 through 36 months of age were 52% among HIV-infected children, 95% among initially HIVseropositive but uninfected children, and 98% among HIV-seronegative children. In multivariable analyses, history of a clinic visit within the 4 weeks prior to study entry (adjusted hazard ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.5–13.5), hemoglobin level <8 g/dL at study entry (adjusted hazard ratio, 4.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.5–12.6), and CD4+ T lymphocyte percentage <15% at study entry (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–9.5) were associated with mortality among HIV-infected children.
Conclusions
Only approximately one-half of HIV-infected Zambian children who were alive at 9 months of age survived to 3 years of age, supporting the urgent need for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection in children in sub-Saharan Africa.
doi:10.1086/591203
PMCID: PMC2753245  PMID: 18680417
9.  Predictors of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected persons: a prospective study in Southwest Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:265.
Background
The devastating impact of AIDS in the world especially in sub-Saharan Africa has led to an unprecedented global effort to ensure access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Given that medication-taking behavior can immensely affect an individual's response; ART adherence is now widely recognized as an 'Achilles heel' for the successful outcome. The present study was undertaken to investigate the rate and predictors of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected persons in southwest Ethiopia.
Methods
The study was conducted in the antiretroviral therapy unit of Jimma University Specialized Hospital. A prospective study was undertaken on a total of 400 HIV infected person. Data were collected using a pre-tested interviewer-administered structured questionnaire at first month (M0) and third month (M3) follow up visits.
Results
A total of 400 and 383 patients at baseline (M0) and at follow up visit (M3) respectively were interviewed. Self-reported dose adherence in the study area was 94.3%. The rate considering the combined indicator (dose, time and food) was 75.7%. Within a three month follow up period, dose adherence decreased by 2% and overall adherence rate decreased by more than 3%. Adherence was common in those patients who have a social support (OR, 1.82, 95%CI, 1.04, 3.21). Patients who were not depressed were two times more likely to be adherent than those who were depressed (OR, 2.13, 95%CI, 1.18, 3.81). However, at the follow up visit, social support (OR, 2.42, 95%CI, 1.29, 4.55) and the use of memory aids (OR, 3.29, 95%CI, 1.44, 7.51) were found to be independent predictors of adherence. The principal reasons reported for skipping doses in this study were simply forgetting, feeling sick or ill, being busy and running out of medication in more than 75% of the cases.
Conclusion
The self reported adherence rate was high in the study area. The study showed that adherence is a dynamic process which changes overtime and cannot reliably be predicted by a few patient characteristics that are assumed to vary with time. Adherence is a process, not a single event, and adherence support should be integrated into regular clinical follow up.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-265
PMCID: PMC2518153  PMID: 18667066
10.  Kidney Disease in HIV-Positive Children 
Seminars in nephrology  2008;28(6):585-594.
Summary
Before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, more than 40% of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children experienced renal complications. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 2.1 million children are infected with HIV-1. In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, young African children frequently died of AIDS-related complications before renal diseases could be manifested or diagnosed. As antiretroviral therapy has become more available, and their survival has increased, our experience in treating kidney disease in HIV-infected children has improved. This article discusses relevant clinical and pathologic findings related to kidney disease in HIV-infected children.
doi:10.1016/j.semnephrol.2008.09.001
PMCID: PMC2778302  PMID: 19013330
HIV-infected children; pediatric AIDS; childhood HIV-associated nephropathy; immune complex renal diseases; HIV-HUS; South Africa
11.  Determinants of survival in adult HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy in Oromiyaa, Ethiopia 
Global Health Action  2010;3:10.3402/gha.v3i0.5398.
Background
The antiretroviral treatment (ART) scale-up service has been a recent development in Ethiopia, but its impact on mortality has not been well investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the early survival outcome of the scale-up service by utilizing routine hospital data.
Methods
All adult HIV/AIDS patients who started on antiretroviral treatment in Shashemene and Assela hospitals from January 1, 2006 to May 31, 2006 were included and followed up for 2 years. Data were extracted from standard patient medical registrations. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to estimate survival probability and the Cox proportional hazard model was applied to determine predictors of mortality. Two alterative assumptions (real case and worst case) were made in determining predictors of mortality.
Results
The median age of patients was 33 years and 57% were female. Eighty-five percent had CD4 <200 cells/µL with a median CD4 count of 103 cells/µL. The median survival time was 104.4 weeks. A total of 28 (10.3%) deaths were observed during the 2-year period and 48 patients (18%) were lost to follow up. The majority of deaths occurred in the first 4 months of treatment. In multivariate analysis, 2-year survival was significantly associated with the clinical stage of the disease, baseline hemoglobin, and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis therapy (CPT) at or before ART initiation in both assumptions. The median CD4 count and body weight showed a marked improvement during the first 6 months of treatment, followed by stagnation thereafter.
Conclusion
The study has shown an overall low mortality but a high loss to follow-up rate of the cohort. Advanced clinical stage, anemia, low body weight, and lack of CPT initiation were independent predictors of mortality – but not gender. CPT initiation should be encouraged in routine HIV care services, and patient retention mechanisms have to be strengthened. Stagnation in immunological and weight recovery after the first 6 months should be further investigated. The utilization of routine data should be encouraged in order to facilitate appropriate decision making.
doi:10.3402/gha.v3i0.5398
PMCID: PMC2967337  PMID: 21042435
antiretroviral therapy; CD4; HIV/AIDS; survival analysis; Ethiopia
12.  Predictors of mortality among HIV infected patients taking antiretroviral treatment in Ethiopia: a retrospective cohort study 
Background
Studies indicate that there is high early mortality among patients starting antiretroviral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is paucity of evidence on long term survival of patients on anti-retroviral treatment in the region. The objective of this study is to examine mortality and its predictors among a cohort of HIV infected patients on anti-retroviral treatment retrospectively followed for five years.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study was conducted among HIV infected patients on ART in eastern Ethiopia. Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to investigate factors that influence time to death and survival over time.
Result
A total of 1540 study participants were included in the study. From the registered patients in the cohort, the outcome of patients as active, deceased, lost to follow up and transfer out was 1005 (67.2%), 86 (5.9%), 210 (14.0%) and 192 (12.8%) respectively. The overall mortality rate provides an incidence density of 2.03 deaths per 100 person years (95% CI 1.64 - 2.50). Out of a total of 86 deaths over 60 month period; 63 (73.3%) died during the first 12 months, 10 (11.6%) during the second year, and 10 (11.6%) in the third year of follow up. In multivariate analysis, the independent predictors for mortality were loss of more 10% weight loss, bedridden functional status at baseline, ≤ 200 CD4 cell count/ml, and advanced WHO stage patients.
Conclusion
A lower level of mortality was detected among the cohort of patients on antiretroviral treatment in eastern Ethiopia. Previous history of weight loss, bedridden functional status at baseline, low CD4 cell count and advanced WHO status patients had a higher risk of death. Early initiation of ART, provision of nutritional support and strengthening of the food by prescription initiative, and counseling of patients for early presentation to treatment is recommended.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-9-15
PMCID: PMC3403909  PMID: 22606951
13.  Adult combination antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa: lessons from Botswana and future challenges 
HIV therapy  2009;3(5):501-526.
Numerous national public initiatives offering first-line combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV infection have commenced in sub-Saharan Africa since 2002. Presently, 2.1 million of an estimated seven million Africans in need of cART are receiving treatment. Analyses from the region report favorable clinical/treatment outcomes and impressive declines in AIDS-related mortality among HIV-1-infected adults and children receiving cART. While immunologic recovery, virologic suppression and cART adherence rates are on par with resource-rich settings, loss to follow-up and high mortality rates, especially within the first 6 months of treatment, remain a significant problem. Over the next decade, cART coverage rates are expected to improve across the region, with attendant increases in healthcare utilization for HIV- and non-HIV-related complications and the need for expanded laboratory and clinical services. Planned and in-progress trials will evaluate the use of cART to prevent primary HIV-1 infection with so-called ‘test and treat’ expansions of coverage and treatment. Education and training programs as well as patient-retention strategies will need to be strengthened as national cART programs are expanded and more people require lifelong monitoring and care.
PMCID: PMC2774911  PMID: 20161344
adherence; cART; combination antiretroviral therapy; efficacy; HIV/AIDS; mortality/survival; sub-Saharan Africa; tolerability/toxicity
14.  Infant feeding practice and associated factors of HIV positive mothers attending prevention of mother to child transmission and antiretroviral therapy clinics in Gondar Town health institutions, Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:240.
Background
It has been estimated that 430,000 children under 15 years of age were newly infected with HIV in 2008, and more than 71% are living in sub-Saharan Africa. In the absence of intervention to prevent mother-to-child transmission, 30-45% of infants born to HIV-positive mothers in developing countries become infected during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. The aim of this study was to assess infant feeding practice and associated factors of HIV positive mothers attending prevention of mother to child transmission and antiretroviral therapy clinics of Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods
Institution based cross sectional study was conducted from January to May 2011 among all HIV positive mothers with less than two years old child attending prevention of mother to child transmission and antiretroviral therapy clinics in Gondar Town health institutions. A structured pre-tested questionnaire using interview technique was used for data collection. The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 statistical package.
Results
A total of 209 HIV positive mothers were included in the study. Of these, 187 (89.5%) had followed the recommended way of infant feeding practice while significant percentage (10.5%) had practiced mixed breast feeding. In multivariate analysis, disclosure of HIV status with their spouse, insufficient breast milk and occupational status were found to be independently associated (p-value of < 0.05) with recommended infant feeding practice. Lack of resource, stigma of HIV/AIDS, and husband opposition were also obtained as factors that influenced choice of infant feeding options by respondents.
Conclusions
Higher proportion of respondents used the recommended way of infant feeding practice by WHO as well as by Ethiopian Ministry of Health. However, mixed feeding in the first 6 months of age, an undesirable practice in infant feeding, were reported in this study. Infant feeding education that is aligned to national policy should be strengthened in primary health care, particularly in situations where prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is prioritized.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-240
PMCID: PMC3326701  PMID: 22449092
15.  Determinants of Mortality among HIV Positives after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in Western Ethiopia: A Hospital-Based Retrospective Cohort Study 
ISRN AIDS  2013;2013:491601.
Studies revealed that there are various determinants of mortality among HIV positives after ART initiation. These determinants are so variable with context and dynamic across time with the advancement of cares and treatments. In this study we tried to identify determinants of mortality among HIV positives after initiating ART. A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 416 ART attendees enrolled between July 2005 to January 2012 in Nekemte Referral Hospital, Western Ethiopia. Actuarial table was used to estimate survival of patients after ART initiation and log rank test was used to compare the survival curves. Cox proportional-hazard regression was applied to determine the independent determinants of time to death. The estimated mortality was 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, and 7% at 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months respectively with mortality incidence density of 1.89 deaths per 100 person years (95% CI 1.74, 3.62). Forty years and above AHR = 3.055 (95% CI 1.292, 7.223), low baseline hemoglobin level (AHR = 0.523 (95% CI .335, 0.816)), and poor ART adherence (AHR 27.848 (95% CI 8.928, 86.8)) were found to be an independent determinants of mortality. These determinants of mortality have to be taken into account to enhance better clinical outcomes of ART attendees.
doi:10.1155/2013/491601
PMCID: PMC3767240  PMID: 24052890
16.  Disclosure of HIV Diagnosis to HIV-Infected Children in South Africa: Focus Groups for Intervention Development 
Worldwide about 2.5 million children younger than 15 years of age are living with HIV, and more than 2.3 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Antiretroviral therapy has reduced mortality among HIV-infected children, and as they survive into adolescence, disclosing to them their diagnosis has emerged as a difficult issue, with many adolescents unaware of their diagnosis. There is a need to build an empirical foundation for strategies to appropriately inform infected children of their diagnosis, particularly in South Africa, which has the largest number of HIV-positive people in the world. As a step toward developing such strategies, we conducted a study in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa to identify beliefs about disclosing HIV diagnosis to HIV-infected children among caregivers, health-care providers, and HIV-positive children who knew their diagnosis. We implemented 7 focus groups with 80 participants: 51 caregivers in 4 groups, 24 health-care providers in 2 groups, and 5 HIV-positive children in 1 group. We found that although the participants believed that children from age 5 years should begin to learn about their illness, with full disclosure by age 12, they suggested that many caregivers fail to fully inform their children. The participants said that the primary caregiver was the best person to disclose. The main reasons cited for failing to disclose were (a) lack of knowledge about HIV and its treatment, (b) the concern that the children might react negatively, and (c) the fear that the children might inappropriately disclose to others, which would occasion gossip, stigmatization, and discrimination towards them and the family. We discuss the implications for developing interventions to help caregivers appropriately disclose HIV status to HIV-infected children and, more generally, communicate effectively with the children to improve their health outcomes.
doi:10.1080/17450128.2012.656733
PMCID: PMC3314494  PMID: 22468145
HIV; disclosure; children; caregivers; stigma
17.  Virological efficacy and immunological recovery among Ethiopian HIV-1 infected adults and children 
Background
Introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa was a hot debate due to many concerns about adherence, logistics and resistance. Currently, it has been significantly scaled up. However as the WHO clinico-immunological approaches for initiation and monitoring of ART in the region lacks viral load determination and drug resistance monitoring, HIV infected adults and children may be at risk for “unrecognized” virologic failure and the subsequent development of antiretroviral drug resistance. This study evaluates the virological efficacy and immunological recovery of HIV/AIDS patients under ART.
Methods
Consecutive HIV-1 infected adults (N = 100) and children (N = 100) who have been receiving ART for up to 6 years at Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia were enrolled following the WHO protocol for assessment of acquired drug resistance. Magnitude of viral suppression, genotypic drug resistance mutations and patterns of CD4+ T cell recovery were determined using standard virological and immunological methods.
Results
Virological suppression (HIV RNA < 40 copies/ml) was observed in 82 and 87% of adults and children on a median time of 24 months on ART, respectively. Mutation K103N conferring resistance to non nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and thymidine analogue mutations (M41L, L210W) were found only in one adult and child patient, respectively. Median CD4+ T cell count has increased from baseline 124 to 266 (IQR: 203–306) and 345 (IQR: 17–1435) to 998 (IQR: 678–2205) cells/mm3 in adults and children respectively after 12 months of ART. Nevertheless, small but significant number of clinically asymptomatic adults (16%) and children (13%) had low level viraemia (HIV-1 RNA 41–1000 copies/ml).
Conclusions
Majority of both adults (82%) and children (87%) who received ART showed high viral suppression and immunological recovery. This indicates that despite limited resources in the setting virological efficacy can be sustained for a substantial length of time and also enhance immunological recovery irrespective of age. However, the presence of drug resistance mutations and low level viraemia among clinically asymptomatic patients highlights the need for virological monitoring.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-28
PMCID: PMC3900473  PMID: 24422906
Antiretroviral; HIV viral load; CD4 T cells; HIV drug resistance; Ethiopia
18.  Risk Factors for Pre-Treatment Mortality among HIV-Infected Children in Rural Zambia: A Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29294.
Background
Many HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa enter care at a late stage of disease. As preparation of the child and family for antiretroviral therapy (ART) can take several clinic visits, some children die prior to ART initiation. This study was undertaken to determine mortality rates and clinical predictors of mortality during the period prior to ART initiation.
Methods
A prospective cohort study of HIV-infected treatment-naïve children was conducted between September 2007 and September 2010 at the HIV clinic at Macha Hospital in rural Southern Province, Zambia. HIV-infected children younger than 16 years of age who were treatment-naïve at study enrollment were eligible for analysis. Mortality rates prior to ART initiation were calculated and risk factors for mortality were evaluated.
Results
351 children were included in the study, of whom 210 (59.8%) were eligible for ART at study enrollment. Among children ineligible for ART at enrollment, 6 children died (mortality rate: 0.33; 95% CI:0.15, 0.74). Among children eligible at enrollment, 21 children died before initiation of ART and their mortality rate (2.73 per 100 person-years; 95% CI:1.78, 4.18) was significantly higher than among children ineligible for ART (incidence rate ratio: 8.20; 95% CI:3.20, 24.83). In both groups, mortality was highest in the first three months of follow-up. Factors associated with mortality included younger age, anemia and lower weight-for-age z-score at study enrollment.
Conclusions
These results underscore the need to increase efforts to identify HIV-infected children at an earlier age and stage of disease progression so they can enroll in HIV care and treatment programs prior to becoming eligible for ART and these deaths can be prevented.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029294
PMCID: PMC3244458  PMID: 22216237
19.  Malnutrition: Prevalence and its associated factors in People living with HIV/AIDS, in Dilla University Referral Hospital 
Archives of Public Health  2013;71(1):13.
Background
Literatures on prevalence and factors associated with malnutrition among peoples living with HIV/AIDS are limited in Ethiopia and not well documented either. The proper implementation of nutritional support and its integration with the routine highly active antiretroviral therapy package demands a clear picture of the magnitude and associated factors of malnutrition. The objective of this study is, therefore, to assess the prevalence and factors associated with malnutrition among peoples living with HIV/AIDS.
Methods
Institution based cross sectional study was conducted in Dilla University referral Hospital including adult HIV patients who were in highly active anti retroviral therapy. Interview administered questionnaires were used to collect data on socio demographic factors. Besides, HIV related clinical information was extracted from anti retro viral therapy data base and clinical charts. The nutritional status of the patients was determined by Body Mass Index (BMI) where BMI < 18kg/m2 was defined as malnutrition according to World Health Organization (WHO). Binary logistic regression was used to assess association between different risk factors and malnutrition. Confidence interval of 95% was considered to see the precision of the study and the level of significance was taken at α <0.05.
Results
A total of 520 patients were included in the analysis. The overall prevalence of malnutrition was 12.3% (95% CI 9.5–15.0). After full control of all variables; unemployment (OR = 3.61, 95% CI: 3.6 − 7.76), WHO clinical stage four (OR = 12.9, 95% CI: 2.49− 15.25), gastrointestinal symptoms (OR = 5.3, 95% CI: 2.56 − 10.78) and previous (one) opportunistic infection (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 2.06 − 5.46), and two & above previous opportunistic infections (OR = 4.5, 95% CI: 3.38 − 10.57) were significantly associated with malnutrition. However, moderately poor economic condition was found to be protective factor for malnutrition (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.14 − 0.95).
Conclusion
Unemployment, WHO clinical AIDS stage four, one & more number of previous opportunistic infections and gastrointestinal symptoms were found to be important risk factors for malnutrition among People Living with HIV/AIDS. From this study it has been learnt that nutritional programs should be an integral part of HIV/AIDS continuum of care. Furthermore, it needs to improve household income of PLHIV with employment opportunity and to engage them in income generating activities as well.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-71-13
PMCID: PMC3683321  PMID: 23759075
Prevalence; Malnutrition; HIV; Ethiopia; Dilla University Hospital
20.  Decentralised paediatric HIV care in Ethiopia: a comparison between outcomes of patients managed in health centres and in a hospital clinic 
Global Health Action  2013;6:10.3402/gha.v6i0.22274.
Background
In order to increase access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-infected children, paediatric HIV care has been introduced in health centres in Ethiopia, where patients are managed by health professionals with limited training.
Objective
To compare outcomes of paediatric HIV care in hospital and health centre clinics and to determine risk factors for death and loss to follow-up (LTFU).
Design
Retrospective comparison of patient characteristics and outcomes among children managed in a public hospital and all five public health centres in the uptake area.
Results
Among 1,960 patients (health centres 572, hospital clinic 1,388), 34% were lost to follow-up, 2% died, 14% were transferred out, and 46% remained in care. Children initiating ART in the hospital clinic had lower median CD4 cell counts (age <1 year: 575 vs. 1,183 cells/mm3, p=0.024; age 1–5 years: 370 vs. 598 cells/mm3, p<0.001; age >5 years: 186 vs. 259 cells/mm3, p<0.001), and a higher proportion were <1 year of age (22% vs. 15%, p=0.025). ART initiation rates and retention in care were similar between children managed in health centres and in the hospital clinic (36% vs. 37% and 47% vs. 46%, respectively). Among patients starting ART, mortality was associated with age <1 year [hazard ratio (HR) 12.0; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.5, 41]. LTFU was associated with CD4 cell counts <350 cells/mm3 (HR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.0), weight-for-age z-scores below −4 (HR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.4, 5.6), and age <5 years (1–5 years: HR 1.6; 95% CI: 1.0, 2.5; <1 year: HR 3.3; 95% CI: 1.6, 6.6).
Conclusions
Outcomes of HIV care were similar for Ethiopian children managed in a hospital clinic or in health centres. However, patients treated at the hospital clinic had characteristics of more advanced disease. Rates of LTFU were high in both types of health facility.
doi:10.3402/gha.v6i0.22274
PMCID: PMC3825866  PMID: 24219898
primary health care; paediatric; HIV; Ethiopia; ART; decentralisation
21.  Correcting Mortality for Loss to Follow-Up: A Nomogram Applied to Antiretroviral Treatment Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(1):e1000390.
Matthias Egger and colleagues present a nomogram and a web-based calculator to correct estimates of program-level mortality for loss to follow-up, for use in antiretroviral treatment programs.
Background
The World Health Organization estimates that in sub-Saharan Africa about 4 million HIV-infected patients had started antiretroviral therapy (ART) by the end of 2008. Loss of patients to follow-up and care is an important problem for treatment programmes in this region. As mortality is high in these patients compared to patients remaining in care, ART programmes with high rates of loss to follow-up may substantially underestimate mortality of all patients starting ART.
Methods and Findings
We developed a nomogram to correct mortality estimates for loss to follow-up, based on the fact that mortality of all patients starting ART in a treatment programme is a weighted average of mortality among patients lost to follow-up and patients remaining in care. The nomogram gives a correction factor based on the percentage of patients lost to follow-up at a given point in time, and the estimated ratio of mortality between patients lost and not lost to follow-up. The mortality observed among patients retained in care is then multiplied by the correction factor to obtain an estimate of programme-level mortality that takes all deaths into account. A web calculator directly calculates the corrected, programme-level mortality with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We applied the method to 11 ART programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. Patients retained in care had a mortality at 1 year of 1.4% to 12.0%; loss to follow-up ranged from 2.8% to 28.7%; and the correction factor from 1.2 to 8.0. The absolute difference between uncorrected and corrected mortality at 1 year ranged from 1.6% to 9.8%, and was above 5% in four programmes. The largest difference in mortality was in a programme with 28.7% of patients lost to follow-up at 1 year.
Conclusions
The amount of bias in mortality estimates can be large in ART programmes with substantial loss to follow-up. Programmes should routinely report mortality among patients retained in care and the proportion of patients lost. A simple nomogram can then be used to estimate mortality among all patients who started ART, for a range of plausible mortality rates among patients lost to follow-up.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981 and about 33 million people (30 million of them in low- and middle-income countries) are now infected with HIV, which causes AIDS. HIV destroys immune system cells, leaving infected individuals susceptible to other infections. Early in the AIDS epidemic, most HIV-infected people died within 10 years of infection. Then, in 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) became available. For people living in affluent, developed countries, HIV/AIDS became a chronic condition, but for people living in low- and middle-income countries, ART was prohibitively expensive and HIV/AIDS remained a fatal illness. In 2003, this situation was declared a global health emergency and governments, international agencies, and funding bodies began to implement plans to increase ART coverage in developing countries. By the end of 2009, 5.25 million of the 14.6 million people in low- and middle-income countries who needed ART (36%) were receiving it.
Why Was This Study Done?
ART program managers in developing countries need to monitor the effectiveness of their programs to ensure that their limited resources are used wisely. In particular, they need accurate records of the death (mortality) rates in their programs. However, in resource-limited countries, many patients drop out of ART programs. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, only about 60% of patients are retained in ART programs 2 years after starting therapy. In many programs, it is not known how many of the patients lost to follow-up subsequently die, but it is known that mortality is higher among these patients than among those who remain in care. Thus, in programs with high dropout rates and poor ascertainment of death in patients lost to follow-up, estimates of the mortality of all patients starting ART are underestimates. In this study, the researchers develop a simple nomogram (a graphical method for finding the value of a third variable from the values of two other variables) to correct estimates of program-level mortality for loss to follow-up.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers' nomogram uses the percentage of patients lost to follow and the estimated ratio of mortality between patients lost and not lost to follow-up to provide a correction factor that converts mortality among patients remaining in care to mortality among all the patients in a program. The researchers first applied their nomogram to the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), a large ART program in Kenya. They used data collected by outreach teams to estimate mortality among the 40.5% of patients lost to follow-up at two AMPATH sites between 1 January 2005 and 31 January 2007. The uncorrected estimate of mortality over this period was 2.8%, whereas the corrected estimate obtained using the nomogram was 9.4%. The researchers then applied their nomogram to 11 other African ART programs. This time, the researchers used a statistical model to provide estimates of mortality among patients lost to follow-up. Mortality among patients retained in care was 1.4% to 12.0% at 1 year; loss to follow-up ranged from 2.8% to 28.7%. The nomogram provided a correction value for mortality among all patients in the ART program of 1.2 to 8.0, which resulted in absolute differences between uncorrected and corrected mortality of 1.6% to 9.8%. The largest absolute difference was in the program with the largest percentage of patients lost to follow-up.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in ART programs where a large percentage of patients are lost to follow-up, program-level mortality estimates based on the mortality among patients retained in the program can be substantial underestimates. This bias needs to be taken into account when comparing the effectiveness of different programs, so the researchers recommend that all programs routinely report mortality among patients retained in care and the proportion of patients lost to follow-up. The nomogram developed by the researchers can then be used to estimate mortality among all patients who started ART using a range of plausible mortality rates among patients lost to follow-up. To help program managers make use of the nomogram, the researchers provide a user-friendly web calculator based on the nomogram on the International epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) Southern Africa website.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000390.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Gregory Bisson
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on the HIV and AIDS in Africa, and on universal access to AIDS treatment (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information about universal access to AIDS treatment, including the 2010 progress report (in English, French and Spanish)
The International epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate Aids (IeDEA) Southern Africa website provides access to a calculator for correcting overall program-specific mortality for loss to follow-up
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000390
PMCID: PMC3022522  PMID: 21267057
22.  Factors associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care in South Wollo ZoneEthiopia: a case-control study 
Background
Access to free antiretroviral therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa has been steadily increasing. The success of large-scale antiretroviral therapy programs depends on early initiation of HIV/AIDs care. The purpose of the study was to examine factors associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care.
Methods
A case-control study was conducted in Dessie referral and Borumeda district hospitals from March 1 to 31, 2010, northern Ethiopia. A total of 320 study participants (160 cases and 160 controls) were included in the study. Cases were people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) who had a WHO clinical stage of III or IV or a CD4 lymphocyte count of less than 200/uL at the time of the first presentation to antiretroviral treatment (ART) clinics. Controls were PLHA who had WHO stage I or II or a CD4 lymphocyte count of 200/uL or more irrespective of clinical staging at the time of first presentation to the ART clinics of the hospitals cases and controls were interviewed by trained nurses using a pre-tested and structured questionnaire. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten health workers and eight PLHA.
Results
PLHA who live with their families [OR = 3.29, 95%CI: 1.28-8.45)], lived in a rented house [OR = 2.52, 95%CI: 1.09-5.79], non-pregnant women [OR = 9.3, 95% CI: 1.93-44.82], who perceived ART have many side effects [OR = 6.23, 95%CI:1.63,23.82)], who perceived HIV as stigmatizing disease [OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.09-8.76], who tested with sickness/symptoms [OR = 2.62, 95% CI: 1.26-5.44], who did not disclose their HIV status for their partner [OR = 2.78, 95% CI: 1.02-7.56], frequent alcohol users [OR = 3.55, 95% CI: 1.63-7.71] and who spent more than 120 months with partner at HIV diagnosis[OR = 5.86, 95% CI: 1.35-25.41] were significantly associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care. The qualitative finding revealed low awareness, non-disclosure, perceived ART side effects and HIV stigma were the major barriers for late presentation to HIV/AIDS care.
Conclusions
Efforts to increase early initiation of HIV/AIDS care should focus on addressing patient's concerns such as stigma, drug side effects and disclosure.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-8-8
PMCID: PMC3058009  PMID: 21356115
23.  Disease Progression Among Untreated HIV-Infected Patients in South Ethiopia: Implications for Patient Care 
Context
The natural course of HIV disease progression among resource-poor patient populations has not been clearly defined.
Objective
To describe predictors of HIV disease progression as seen at an outpatient clinic in a resource-limited setting in rural Ethiopia.
Design
This prospective cohort study included all adult HIV patients who visited an outpatient clinic at Arba Minch hospital in South Ethiopia between January 30, 2003 and April 1, 2004. Clinical and hematologic measurements were done at baseline and every 12 weeks thereafter until the patient was transferred, put on antiretroviral therapy, was lost to follow-up, or died. Community agents reported patient status every month.
Setting
A district hospital with basic facilities for HIV testing and patient monitoring.
Main Outcome Measures
Death, diagnosis of tuberculosis, and change in disease stage.
Results
We followed 207 patients for a median duration of 19 weeks (range, 0–60 weeks). A total of 132 (64%) of them were in WHO stage III. The overall mortality rate was 46 per 100 person-years of observation (PYO). Mortality increased with advancing disease stage. Diarrhea, oral thrush, and low total lymphocyte count were significant markers of mortality. The incidence of tuberculosis was 9.9 per 100 PYO. Baseline history of easy fatigability and fever were strongly associated with subsequent development of tuberculosis.
Conclusion
The mortality rate and the incidence of tuberculosis in our cohort are among the highest ever reported in sub-Saharan Africa. We identified oral thrush, diarrhea, and total lymphocyte count as predictors of mortality, and easy fatigability and fever as predictors of tuberculosis. The findings have practical implications for patient care in resource-limited settings.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-7-3-66
PMCID: PMC2804707  PMID: 19825131
24.  The Impact of HAART on Cardiomyopathy among Children and Adolescents Perinatally Infected with HIV-1 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(16):2027-2037.
Objective
Previous studies of cardiomyopathy among children perinatally infected with HIV were conducted before the routine use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Nucleoside analogues (NRTIs), the backbone of HAART, have been associated with mitochondrial toxicity, which can lead to cardiomyopathy. We evaluated the association of HAART and specific NRTIs associated with mitochondrial toxicity, on development of cardiomyopathy among perinatally HIV-infected children.
Design
3,035 perinatally HIV-infected children enrolled in a US-based multicenter prospective cohort study, were followed for cardiomyopathy, defined as a clinical diagnosis or initiation of digoxin, from 1993–2007.
Methods
Cox models were used to estimate the effects of HAART and NRTIs on cardiomyopathy, identify predictors of cardiomyopathy among HAART users, and estimate the association between development of cardiomyopathy and mortality.
Results
99 cases of cardiomyopathy were identified over follow-up (incidence rate: 5.6 cases per 1,000 person-years) at a median age of 9.4 years. HAART was associated with a 50% lower incidence of cardiomyopathy compared to no HAART use (95% confidence interval: 20%, 70%). Zalcitabine (ddC) use, however, was associated with an 80% higher incidence of cardiomyopathy. Among HAART users, older age at HAART initiation, ddC use before HAART initiation, initiating a HAART regimen containing zidovudine (ZDV), and a nadir CD4<15% were independently associated with a higher rate of cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy was associated with a 6-fold higher mortality rate.
Conclusions
HAART has dramatically decreased the incidence of cardiomyopathy among perinatally HIV-infected children. However, they remain at increased risk for cardiomyopathy and ongoing ZDV exposure may increase this risk.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283578bfa
PMCID: PMC3513344  PMID: 22781228
cardiomyopathy; HAART; mortality; perinatally HIV-infected children; zidovudine
25.  Predictors of Mortality among Patients Enrolled on Antiretroviral Therapy in Aksum Hospital, Northern Ethiopia: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87392.
Background
Since launching of antiretroviral (ART) treatment, the numbers of patients enrolled in to ART are increasing in many developing countries. But many studies done across Africa including Ethiopia on antiretroviral therapy programs have shown higher mortality at the first six months of treatment initiation. But the factors associated with this high mortality are poorly characterized. So this study aims to determine mortality and identify predictors of it among patients on ART.
Methods
Retrospective cohort study was employed among a total of 520 records of patients who were enrolled on antiretroviral therapy in Aksum hospital from September 2006 to August 2011. Baseline patient records were extracted from electronic and paper based medical records database and analysed using Kaplan Meier survival and Cox proportional hazard model to identify the independent predictors of mortality of patients on ART.
Results
A total of 46 (8.85%) deaths was observed giving an overall mortality rate of 3.2 per 100 person-years. The independent predictor of mortality identified for this cohort were haemoglobin level <11 mg/dl (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 1.9, 95%-CI = 1.01, 3.52), CD4 cell counts lower than 50 cells/µl (HR = 2.1, 95%- CI = 1.13,3.89), Male gender (HR = 1.9, 95%-CI = 1.01,3.52), Weight <40 kg (HR = 2.3,95% CI = 1.24,4.55), primary level of education and lower (HR = 2.6, 95%- CI = 1.29,5.55).
Conclusions
The over all mortality of adults patients on ART was low but higher in the early months of ART initiation. low levels of haemoglobin <11 gm/dl, lower CD4 cell count, male gender, weight <40 Kg and individuals who have primary level of education and lower were indentified as the independent predictors of mortality. For this reason, early initiation of ART despite the CD4 count and method of HIV diagnosis, nutritional support and close monitoring of patients in the early periods of ART treatment initiation is very crucial to improve patient survival.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087392
PMCID: PMC3909114  PMID: 24498093

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