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1.  Integrating cervical cancer screening with HIV care in a district hospital in Abuja, Nigeria 
Background:
Human immunodeficiency virus positive (HIV+) women have a higher risk of developing invasive cervical cancer compared with uninfected women. This study aims to document programmatic experience of integrating cervical cancer screening using Visual Inspection and Acetic Acid (VIA) into HIV care as well as to describe patients’ characteristics associated with positive VIA findings amongst HIV+ women.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study analysed routine service data collected at the antiretroviral therapy (ART) and cervical cancer screening services. Our program integrated screening for cervical cancer using VIA technique to HIV care and treatment services through a combination of stakeholder engagement, capacity building for health workers, creating a bi-directional referral between HIV and reproductive health (RH) services and provider initiated counselling and screening for cervical cancer. Information on patients’ baseline and clinical characteristics were captured using an electronic medical records system and then exported to Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Logistic regression model was used to estimate factors that influence VIA results.
Results:
A total of 834 HIV+ women were offered VIA screening between April 2010 and April 2011, and 805 (96.5%) accepted it. Complete data was available for 802 (96.2%) women. The mean age at screening and first sexual contact were 32.0 (SD 6.6) and 18.8 (SD 3.5) years, respectively. VIA was positive in 52 (6.5%) women while 199 (24.8%) had a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Of the 199 who had a STI, eight (4.0%) had genital ulcer syndrome, 30 (15.1%) had lower abdominal pain syndrome and 161 (80.9%) had vaginal discharge syndrome. Presence of lower abdominal pain syndrome was found to be a significant predictor of a positive VIA result (P = 0.001). Women with lower abdominal pain syndrome appeared to be more likely (OR 47.9, 95% CI: 4.8-480.4, P = 0.001) to have a positive VIA result.
Conclusion:
The high burden of both HIV and cervical cancer in developing countries makes it a necessity for integrating services that offer early detection and treatment for both diseases. The findings from our study suggest that integrating VIA screening into the package of care offered to HIV+ women is feasible and acceptable.
doi:10.4103/0300-1652.114590
PMCID: PMC3719244  PMID: 23901180
Cervical cancer screening; human immunodeficiency virus; integration; Nigeria; visual inspection with acetic acid
2.  The Pattern of Attrition from an Antiretroviral Treatment Program in Nigeria 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51254.
Objective
To evaluate the rate and factors associated with attrition of patients receiving ART in tertiary and secondary hospitals in Nigeria.
Methods and Findings
We reviewed patient level data collected between 2007 and 2010 from 11 hospitals across Nigeria. Kaplan-Meier product-limit and Cox regression were used to determine probability of retention in care and risk factors for attrition respectively. Of 6,408 patients in the cohort, 3,839 (59.9%) were females, median age of study population was 33years (IQR: 27–40) and 4,415 (69%) were from secondary health facilities. The NRTI backbone was Stavudine (D4T) in 3708 (57.9%) and Zidovudine (ZDV) in 2613 (40.8%) of patients. Patients lost to follow up accounted for 62.7% of all attrition followed by treatment stops (25.3%) and deaths (12.0%). Attrition was 14.1 (N = 624) and 15.1% (N = 300) in secondary and tertiary hospitals respectively (p = 0.169) in the first 12 months on follow up. During the 13 to 24 months follow up period, attrition was 10.7% (N = 407) and 19.6% (N = 332) in secondary and tertiary facilities respectively (p<0.001). Median time to lost to follow up was 11.1 (IQR: 6.1 to 18.5) months in secondary compared with 13.6 (IQR: 9.9 to 17.0) months in tertiary sites (p = 0.002). At 24 months follow up, male gender [AHR 1.18, 95% CI: 1.01–1.37, P = 0.038]; WHO clinical stage III [AHR 1.30, 95%CI: 1.03–1.66, P = 0.03] and clinical stage IV [AHR 1.90, 95%CI: 1.20–3.02, p = 0.007] and care in a tertiary hospital [AHR 2.21, 95% CI: 1.83–2.67, p<0.001], were associated with attrition.
Conclusion
Attrition could potentially be reduced by decentralizing patients on ART after the first 12 months on therapy to lower level facilities, earlier initiation on treatment and strengthening adherence counseling amongst males.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051254
PMCID: PMC3521762  PMID: 23272094
3.  Patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics and level of care associated with lost to follow-up and mortality in adult patients on first-line ART in Nigerian hospitals 
Introduction
Clinical outcome is an important determinant of programme success. This study aims to evaluate patients’ baseline characteristics as well as level of care associated with lost to follow-up (LTFU) and mortality of patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART).
Methods
Retrospective cohort study using routine service data of adult patients initiated on ART in 2007 in 10 selected hospitals in Nigeria. We captured data using an electronic medical record system and analyzed using Stata. Outcome measures were probability of being alive and retained in care at 12, 24 and 36 months on ART. Potential predictors associated with time to mortality and time to LTFU were assessed using competing risks regression models.
Results
After 12 months on therapy, 85% of patients were alive and on ART. Survival decreased to 81.2% and 76.1% at 24 and 36 months, respectively. Median CD4 count for patients at ART start, 12, 18 and 24 months were 152 (interquartile range, IQR: 75 to 242), 312 (IQR: 194 to 450), 344 (IQR: 227 to 501) and 372 (IQR: 246 to 517) cells/µl, respectively. Competing risk regression showed that patients’ baseline characteristics significantly associated with LTFU were male (adjusted sub-hazard ratio, sHR=1.24 [95% CI: 1.08 to 1.42]), ambulatory functional status (adjusted sHR=1.25 [95% CI: 1.01 to 1.54]), World Health Organization (WHO) clinical Stage II (adjusted sHR=1.31 [95% CI: 1.08 to 1.59]) and care in a secondary site (adjusted sHR=0.76 [95% CI: 0.66 to 0.87]). Those associated with mortality include CD4 count <50 cells/µl (adjusted sHR=2.84 [95% CI: 1.20 to 6.71]), WHO clinical Stage III (adjusted sHR=2.67 [95% CI: 1.26 to 5.65]) and Stage IV (adjusted sHR=5.04 [95% CI: 1.93 to 13.16]) and care in a secondary site (adjusted sHR=2.21 [95% CI: 1.30 to 3.77]).
Conclusions
Mortality was associated with advanced HIV disease and care in secondary facilities. Earlier initiation of therapy and strengthening systems in secondary level facilities may improve retention and ultimately contribute to better clinical outcomes.
doi:10.7448/IAS.15.2.17424
PMCID: PMC3494164  PMID: 23010378
antiretroviral treatment; mortality; lost to follow-up; Nigeria
5.  Reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV: findings from an early infant diagnosis program in south-south region of Nigeria 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:184.
Background
Early diagnosis of HIV in infants provides a critical opportunity to strengthen follow-up of HIV-exposed children and assure early access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for infected children. This study describes findings from an Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) program and the effectiveness of a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) intervention in six health facilities in Cross-River and Akwa-Ibom states, south-south Nigeria.
Methods
This was a retrospective study. Records of 702 perinatally exposed babies aged six weeks to 18 months who had a DNA PCR test between November 2007 and July 2009 were reviewed. Details of the ARV regimen received to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), breastfeeding choices, HIV test results, turn around time (TAT) for results and post test ART enrolment status of the babies were analysed.
Results
Two-thirds of mother-baby pairs received ARVs and 560 (80%) babies had ever been breastfed. Transmission rates for mother-baby pairs who received ARVs for PMTCT was 4.8% (CI 1.3, 8.3) at zero to six weeks of age compared to 19.5% (CI 3.0, 35.5) when neither baby nor mother received an intervention. Regardless of intervention, the transmission rates for babies aged six weeks to six months who had mixed feeding was 25.6% (CI 29.5, 47.1) whereas the transmission rates for those who were exclusively breastfed was 11.8% (CI 5.4, 18.1). Vertical transmission of HIV was eight times (AOR 7.8, CI: 4.52-13.19) more likely in the sub-group of mother-baby pairs who did not receive ARVS compared with mother-baby pairs that did receive ARVs. The median TAT for test results was 47 days (IQR: 35-58). A follow-up of 125 HIV positive babies found that 31 (25%) were enrolled into a paediatric ART program, nine (7%) were known to have died before the return of their DNA PCR results, and 85 (67%) could not be traced and were presumed to be lost-to-follow-up.
Conclusion
Reduction of MTCT of HIV is possible with effective PMTCT interventions, including improved access to ARVs for PMTCT and appropriate infant feeding practices. Loss to follow up of HIV exposed infants is a challenge and requires strategies to enhance retention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-184
PMCID: PMC3317814  PMID: 22410161
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV; early infant diagnosis; vertical transmission; breastfeeding; pediatric HIV

Results 1-5 (5)