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Factors Associated with Loss to Follow-Up Among Patients Receiving HIV Treatment in Nairobi, Kenya
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  (IF2.205),  Pub Date : 2021-09-03, DOI: 10.1089/aid.2020.0292
Emily Koech, Kristen A. Stafford, Immaculate Mutysia, Abraham Katana, Marline Jumbe, Patrick Awuor, Marie-Claude Lavoie, Caroline Ngunu, David J. Riedel, Sylvia Ojoo

We investigated factors associated with loss to follow-up (LTFU) in 24 urban health facilities in Nairobi, Kenya. We conducted a retrospective analysis of routinely collected data to assess factors associated with LTFU in the period October 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. LTFU was defined as no antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill for ≥90 days and no documentation of transfer, death, or treatment cessation in the patient chart, and if no lapse of ≥90 days between ART refills, patients were considered retained in care. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence interval (CI) for LTFU. Our analysis included 633 individuals who were LTFU and 13,098 individuals retained in care. Most participants (69.6%) were women, and median age was 33.0 years (interquartile range, 27.2–38.3 years). Median ART duration was shorter among those LTFU (0.4 years) than retained patients (2.5 years, p < .0001). Being male [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.30; 95% CI: 1.04–1.63, p = .02], transferring into facilities while already receiving ART (aOR 11.58; 95% CI: 8.23–16.29, p < .0001), and having a shorter ART duration (<6 months) were associated with increased odds of LTFU. Patients who transferred into a facility while already receiving ART had the highest adjusted odds of being LTFU compared with those retained in care. In this urban and highly mobile population, transferring into facilities while already receiving ART was strongly associated with LTFU. Focusing programming efforts on patients transferring between urban clinics to identify reasons for transfer and potential barriers to treatment adherence could help improve patient outcomes. Supplementary case management and support may be needed to promote a seamless transition and ensure uninterrupted engagement in HIV care and treatment.