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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Family Medicine
Title An assessment of clinical care and outcomes of HIV infected patients on antiretroviral therapy, using Therapy-Edge database at St. Joseph's Hospital, Roma - Lesotho
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
The high prevalence of HIV has been a major cause for concern in Lesotho and the clinical course has witnessed some service lapses, complications and deaths. The researcher was therefore motivated to conduct this study with the aim to assess care and outcomes offered to HIV patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The objectives were to describe patient socio-demographic and clinical characteristics at initiation of antiretroviral therapy, to describe clinical parameters of haemoglobin, AST, CD4 count levels as outcome proxy of care and to analyze the rate and predictors of patient retention and lost to follow-up.
A retrospective cohort study of 1060 patients initiated on ART at the Thusong ART Clinic in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Roma between August 2005 and July 2008 was conducted. Relevant documentation was captured from the patients’ clinical records hard copy files onto the Therapy-Edge (TE) database tool used. Patient confidentiality was respected The dataset was closed on 31st October 2012. Data were analyzed using STATA version 11.
The total number of patients enrolled during the study period of August 2005 – July 2008 was 1060. The findings on the patients studied showed that 99.5% were Sotho with the majority of 70.2% being female. Patients in the age group of 16-35 years were 22.2%, in the age groups of 36-55 years and >55 years were 58.3% and 19.5% respectively. Median age was 43 years. Employed persons were 24.3%, students were 2.3%, unemployed persons were 44.8% and 28.6% were of unknown employment status. On WHO classification, 18.1% was WHO Stage I, 34.6% was Stage II, 43.4% was Stage III and 3% was Stage IV. Median weight at enrollment was 55.6kg. Baseline CD4 count < 50 cells/mm3 was 13.3%, count of 50 – 199 cells/mm3 was 43.2%, CD4 count = 200 cells was 38.7%. Patients with Hb <10g/dl were 17.3%. On patient retention over a period of about 6 years, 57% of the patients were still alive
and in care, 11.3% had been transferred out to the health centers and clinics, 29.5% were lost to follow up. It is noteworthy that only 2.2% were recorded as dead.
The study showed that more than half of the HIV patients on ART were female, thus suggesting better access to care and health seeking behaviour. Clinical parameters of haemoglobin, AST, CD4 cell counts used to monitor progress over follow-up period showed results comparable with other similar studies. Baseline CD4 count, WHO stage, age, gender and employment status were agreeable with studies in other settings to predict those lost to follow-up (LFTU). The low percentage of documented deaths suggests that some deaths may have been included in LTFU.
Better documentation, staff training and retention, decentralization of care and proper follow-up measures are steps in the right direction for better ART monitoring and outcomes.

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