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JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000268
Implementation and Operational Research: Epidemiology and Prevention

Outcomes of Antiretroviral Therapy Over a 10-Year Period of Expansion: A Multicohort Analysis of African and Asian HIV Programs

Grimsrud, Anna MPH*; Balkan, Suna MD, MSc; Casas, Esther C. MD, MSc; Lujan, Johnny MD, MPH§; Van Cutsem, Gilles MD, MPH*,‖; Poulet, Elisabeth MD, MSc; Myer, Landon PhD, MBChB*; Pujades-Rodriguez, Mar PhD, MSc, DTM&IH, MD#,**

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Abstract

Objective: Little is known about the evolution of program outcomes associated with rapid expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited settings. We describe temporal trends and assess associations with mortality and loss to follow-up (LTFU) in HIV cohorts from 8 countries.

Design: Multicohort study using electronic health records.

Methods: Analysis included adults in 25 Médecins Sans Frontières–supported programs initiating ART between 2001 and 2011. Kaplan–Meier methods were used to describe time to death or LTFU and proportional hazards models to assess associations with individual and program factors.

Results: ART programs (n = 132,334, median age 35 years, 61% female) expanded rapidly. Whereas 36-month mortality decreased from 22% to 9% over 5 years (≤2003–2008), LTFU increased from 11% to 21%. Hazard ratios (HR) of early (0–12 months) and late (12–72 months) LTFU increased over time, from 1.09 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83 to 1.43] and 1.04 (95% CI: 0.84 to 1.28) in 2004 to 3.29 (95% CI: 2.42 to 4.46) and 6.86 (95% CI: 4.94 to 9.53) in 2011, compared with 2001–2003. Rate of program expansion was strongly associated with increased early and late LTFU, adjusted HR (aHR) = 2.31 (95% CI: 1.78 to 3.01) and HR = 2.29 (95% CI: 1.76 to 2.99), respectively, for ≥125 vs. 0–24 patients per month. Larger program size was associated with decreased early mortality (aHR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.77 for ≥20,000 vs. <500 patients) and increased early LTFU (aHR = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.04 to 3.04 for ≥20,000 vs. <500 patients).

Conclusions: As ART expands in resource-limited settings, challenges remain in improving access to ART and preventing program attrition. There is an urgent need for novel and sustainable models of care to increase long-term retention of patients.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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