Title: Antiretroviral therapy and early mortality in South Africa.

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Author: Boulle A | Bock P | Osler M | Cohen K | Channing L

Source: Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2008 Sep;86(9):678-687.

Abstract: The objective of this study is to describe province-wide outcomes and temporal trends of the Western Cape Province antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme 5 years since inception, and to demonstrate the utility of the WHO monitoring system for ART. The treatment programme started in 2001 through innovator sites. Rapid scaling-up of ART provision began early in 2004, located predominantly in primary-care facilities. Data on patients starting ART were prospectively captured into facility-based registers, from which monthly cross-sectional activity and quarterly cohort reports were aggregated. Retention in care, mortality, loss to follow-up and laboratory outcomes were calculated at 6-monthly durations on ART. By the end of March 2006, 16 234 patients were in care. The cohort analysis included 12,587 adults and 1709 children. Women accounted for 70% of adults enrolled. After 4 and 3 years on ART respectively, 72.0% of adults (95% confidence interval, CI: 68.0-75.6) and 81.5% (95% CI: 75.7-86.1) of children remained in care. The percentage of adults starting ART with CD4 counts less than 50 cells/microl fell from 51.3% in 2001 to 21.5% in 2005, while mortality at 6 months fell from 12.7% to 6.6%, offset in part by an increase in loss to follow-up (reaching 4.7% at 6 months in 2005). Over 85% of adults tested had viral loads below 400 copies/ml at 6-monthly durations until 4 years on ART. The location of care in primary-care sites in this programme was associated with good retention in care, while the scaling-up of ART provision was associated with reduced early mortality. (author's)

Region: Africa, Sub Saharan Subregion: Africa, Southern Country: South Africa

Language: English

Item ID: 328093

Date Posted: 29 September 2008

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