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Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 Apr 19;4(2):ofx077. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofx077. eCollection 2017 Spring.

Evolving Failures in the Delivery of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Care: Lessons From a Ugandan Meningitis Cohort 2006-2016.

Author information

1
Infectious Diseases Institute, Mulago Hospital Complex, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
2
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.
3
Division of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis.
4
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Because of investments in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people aware of their status and receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) has increased; however, HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) mortality still remains high.

METHODS:

We performed retrospective analysis of 3 sequential prospective cohorts of HIV-infected Ugandan adults presenting with AIDS and meningitis from 2006 to 2009, 2010 to 2012, and 2013 to 2016. Participants were categorized as follows: (1) unknown HIV status; (2) known HIV+ without ART; (3) known HIV+ with previous ART. We further categorized 2006 and 2013 cohort participants by duration of HIV-status knowledge and of ART receipt.

RESULTS:

We screened 1353 persons with suspected meningitis. Cryptococcus was the most common pathogen (63%). Over the decade, we observed an absolute increase of 37% in HIV status knowledge and 59% in antecedent ART receipt at screening. The 2006 cohort participants were new/recent HIV diagnoses (65%) or known HIV+ but not receiving ART (35%). Many 2013 cohort participants were new/recent HIV diagnoses (34%) and known HIV+ with <1 month ART (20%), but a significant proportion were receiving ART 1-4 months (11%) and >4 months (30%). Four percent of participants discontinued ART. From 2010 to 2016, meningitis cases per month increased by 33%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although improved HIV screening and ART access remain much-needed interventions in resource-limited settings, greater investment in viral suppression and opportunistic infection care among the growing HIV-infected population receiving ART is essential to reducing ongoing AIDS mortality.

KEYWORDS:

HIV care continuum; HIV/AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; cryptococcal meningitis; sub-Saharan Africa.

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