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Open AIDS J. 2011;5:51-8. doi: 10.2174/1874613601105010051. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Realities and Challenges of a Five Year Follow Up of Mother and Child Pairs on a PMTCT Program in Zimbabwe.

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Letten Foundation Research Center, No.3 Everrett Close, Harare Zimbabwe.



Complete follow up is an essential component of observational cohorts irrespective of the type of disease.


To describe five years follow up of mother and child pairs on a PMTCT program, highlighting loss to follow up (LTFU) and mortality (attrition).


A cohort of pregnant women was enrolled from the national PMTCT program at 36 weeks gestational age attending three peri urban clinics around Harare offering maternal and child health services. Mother-infant pairs were followed up from birth and twice yearly for five years.


A total of 479 HIV infected and 571 HIV negative pregnant women were enrolled, 445(92.9%) and 495(86.6%) were followed up whereas 14(3.0%) and 3(0.5%) died in the 1st year respectively; RR (95%CI) 5.3(1.5-18.7). At five years 227(56.7%) HIV infected and 239(41.0%) HIV negative mothers turned up, whereas mortality rates were 34 and 7 per 100 person years respectively. Birth information was recorded for 401(83.7%) HIV exposed and 441(77.2%) unexposed infants, 247(51.6%) and 232(40.6) turned up in the first year whilst mortality was 58(12.9%) and 22(4.4%) respectively, RR (95%CI) 3.2(2.0-5.4). At five years 210(57.5%) HIV exposed and 239(44.3%) unexposed infants were seen, whilst mortality rates were 53 per 1000 and 15 per 1 000 person years respectively. Mortality rate for HIV infected children was 112 compared to 21 per 1 000 person years for the exposed but uninfected.


HIV infected mothers and their children succumbed to mortality whereas the HIV negatives were LTFU. Mortality rates and LTFU are high within PMTCT program.


Follow up; HIV; Mortality; PMTCT.

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