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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Apr 15;56(5):e122-8. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31820a7f2f.

Inadequate coordination of maternal and infant HIV services detrimentally affects early infant diagnosis outcomes in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Author information

1
University of North Carolina Project, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the continuity of care and outcome of pediatric HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services, focusing on early infant diagnosis with DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

DESIGN:

A retrospective observational cohort.

METHODS:

Maternal HIV antibody, infant HIV DNA PCR test results, and outcome data from HIV-infected infants from the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, early infant diagnosis, and pediatric HIV treatment programs operating in Lilongwe, Malawi, between 2004 and 2008 were collected, merged, and analyzed.

RESULTS:

Of the 14,669 pregnant women who tested HIV antibody positive, 7875 infants (53.7%) received HIV DNA PCR testing. One thousand eighty-four infants (13.8%) were HIV infected. Three hundred twenty (29.5%) children enrolled into pediatric HIV care, with 202 (63.1%) at the Baylor Center of Excellence. Among these, antiretroviral therapy was initiated on 110 infants (54.5%) whose median age was 9.1 months (interquartile range, 5.4-13.8) and a median of 2.5 months (interquartile range, 1.4-5.2) after HIV clinic registration. Sixty-nine HIV-infected infants (34.2%) died or were lost by December 2008. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy increased the likelihood of survival 7-fold (odds ratio, 7.1; 95% confidence interval, 3.68 to 13.70).

CONCLUSIONS:

Separate programs for maternal and infant HIV prevention and care services demonstrated high attrition rates of HIV-exposed and HIV-infected infants, elevated levels of mother-to-child transmission, late infant diagnosis, delayed pediatric antiretroviral therapy initiation, and high HIV-infected infant mortality. Antiretroviral therapy increased HIV-infected infant survival, emphasizing the urgent need for improved service coordination and strategies that increase access to infant HIV diagnosis, improve patient retention, and reduce antiretroviral therapy initiation delays.

PMID:
21224736
PMCID:
PMC3112277
DOI:
10.1097/QAI.0b013e31820a7f2f
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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