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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Jan 1;71(1):e16-23. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000863.

Implementation and Operational Research: Community-Based Adherence Clubs for the Management of Stable Antiretroviral Therapy Patients in Cape Town, South Africa: A Cohort Study.

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1
*Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa;†Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa;‡Gugulethu Community Health Centre, Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa; and§The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Community-based models of antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery are widely discussed as a priority in the expansion of HIV treatment services, but data on their effectiveness are limited. We examined outcomes of ART patients decentralized to community-based adherence clubs (CACs) in Cape Town, South Africa and compared these to patients managed in the community health center.

METHODS:

The analysis included 8150 adults initiating ART from 2002 to 2012 in a public sector service followed until the end of 2013. From June 2012, stable patients (on ART >12 months, suppressed viral load) were referred to CACs. Loss to follow-up (LTFU) was compared between services using proportional hazards models with time-varying covariates and inverse probability weights of CAC participation.

FINDINGS:

Of the 2113 CAC patients (71% female, 7% youth ages ≤ 24 years), 94% were retained on ART after 12 months. Among CAC patients, LTFU [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR): 2.17, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.26 to 3.73 ] and viral rebound (aHR 2.24, 95% CI: 1.00 to 5.04) were twice as likely in youth (16-24 years old) compared with older patients, but no difference in the risk of LTFU or viral rebound was observed by sex (P-values 0.613 and 0.278, respectively). CAC participation was associated with a 67% reduction in the risk of LTFU (aHR: 0.33, 95% CI: 0.27 to 0.40) compared with community health centre, and this association persisted when stratified by patient demographic and clinic characteristics.

INTERPRETATION:

CACs are associated with reduced risk of LTFU compared with facility-based care. Community-based models represent an important development to facilitate ART delivery and possibly improve patient outcomes.

PMID:
26473798
DOI:
10.1097/QAI.0000000000000863
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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