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HIV/AIDS

21 February 2011

HIV patients go missing before treatment

A study has found that about 55% of HIV patients in SA who are not eligible for treatment at the time of diagnosis will disappear from clinics within a year of initial monitoring.

A study has found that about 55% of HIV patients in South Africa who are not eligible for treatment at the time of diagnosis will disappear from clinics within a year of initial monitoring, leaving a serious gap in HIV care and prevention, say researchers.

Published in the journal Aids, the study examined about a year's worth of CD4 laboratory records for 4,223 HIV patients in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province who were not eligible for ARVs. Conducted by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies at South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal, the research found high loss-to-follow-up rates and that patients diagnosed HIV-positive at higher CD4 counts, and who were younger and male, were more likely not to return for CD4 count tests at the recommended six month intervals.

 

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