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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2010 Aug;26(8):875-81. doi: 10.1089/aid.2009.0282.

Enrollment, retention, and visit attendance in the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research HIV clinical cohort, 2001-2007.

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Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7435, USA.


Predictors of study retention and scheduled visit attendance in the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research (UNC CFAR) prospective clinical cohort of HIV-infected patients enrolled between 1 January 2001 and 1 January 2008 are reported. At study entry, 1636 participants were 32% female, 58% were African-American, 49% had not received HIV care elsewhere, 71% were receiving or initiated combination antiretroviral therapy, and 26% were diagnosed with AIDS, with median (quartiles) age of 40 (34; 47) years, distance to clinic of 45 (21; 70) miles, HIV-1 RNA of 1396 (200; 26,750) copies/ml, and CD4 of 374 (182; 602) cells/mm(3). Participants contributed a median of 7 (4; 13) scheduled visits and 2.25 (1.0; 3.9) years alive under follow-up. During 6134 person-years of follow-up, 414 participants dropped out and 145 died. Accounting for differences in death by participant characteristics, the 6-year cumulative probability of retention was 67% [95% confidence limits (CL): 65, 70%], with 6.75 (95% CL: 6.13, 7.43) drop outs per 100 person-years. In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, retention was higher among participants who were insured, had not received HIV care elsewhere, had controlled HIV viremia, and were living in nonurban areas or proximate to the clinic. In a multivariable modified Poisson regression model that accounted for differences in drop out and death by participant characteristics, visit attendance was higher among older, AIDS-diagnosed, immune compromised, and cART-initiated participants. The UNC CFAR clinical cohort has ample enrollment with retention and visit attendance modestly influenced by factors such as disease severity.

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