Five-year experience with scaling-up access to antiretroviral treatment in an HIV care programme in Cambodia
Thai, Sopheak × Koole, Olivier Un, Phally Ros, Seilavath De Munter, Paul Van Damme, Wim Jacques, Gary Colebunders, Robert Lynen, Lutgarde #
Blackwell Science Ltd.
Tropical Medicine & International Health vol:14 issue:9 pages:1048-1058
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate a 5-year HIV care programme (2003-2007) in the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. METHODS: Analysis of routine programme indicators per year: number of new patients, active patients, antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage in the cohort, mortality and loss to follow-up. Comparison of mortality before and after the start of ART using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Analysis of risk factors using Cox regression for the combined endpoint of mortality and loss to follow-up in patients on ART. RESULTS: 3844 patients were registered in the hospital between March 2003 and December 2007. The mortality and loss to follow-up rate fell and paralleled the rise of ART coverage from 23% in 2003 to 90% in 2007. The mortality and the loss to follow-up rate was significantly higher in patients not on ART but eligible (Log rank P < 0.001). The combined endpoint of mortality and loss to follow-up was 48.7% after one year in patients who were waiting for ART. 1667 patients were started on ART. The combined endpoint (mortality and loss to follow-up) in this group was 11.5% at 12 months and 14.2% at 24 months. Risk factors for mortality in the ART group were male sex, CD4 count <50 cells/microl, BMI <18 and haemoglobin levels <10 g/dl. CONCLUSION: Better access to ART is associated with lower mortality and fewer losses to follow-up. Pre-ART attrition remains significant. Strategies are needed to enable an earlier start of ART and to promote retention in care.