Background: Patient retention in chronic HIV care is a major challenge following the rapid expansion of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in Ethiopia. Objective: To describe the proportion of patients who are retained in HIV care and characterize predictors of attrition among HIV-infected adults receiving cART in Addis Ababa. Method: A retrospective analysis was conducted among 836 treatment naïve patients, who started cART between May 2009 and April 2012. Patients were randomly selected from ten healthcare facilities, and their current status in HIV care was determined based on routinely available data in the medical records. Patients lost to follow-up (LTFU) were traced by telephone. Kaplan-Meier technique was used to estimate survival probabilities of retention and Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to identify the predictors of attrition. Results: Based on individual patient data from the medical records, nearly 80% (95%CI: 76.7, 82.1) of the patients were retained in care in the first 3 and half years of antiretroviral therapy. After successfully tracing more than half of the LTFU patients, the updated one year retention in care estimate became 86% (95% CI: 83.41%, 88.17%). In the multivariate Cox regression analyses, severe immune deficiency at enrolment in care/or at cART initiation and 'bed-ridden' or 'ambulatory' functional status at the start of cART predicted attrition. Conclusion: Retention in HIV care in Addis Ababa is comparable with or even better than previous findings from other resource-limited as well as EU/USA settings. However, measures to detect and enroll patients in HIV care as early as possible are still necessary.,
Department of Epidemiology

Mekuria, L. A., Prins, J., Yalew, A. W., Sprangers, M., & Nieuwkerk, P. (2015). Retention in HIV care and predictors of attrition from care among HIV-infected adults receiving combination anti-retroviral therapy in Addis Ababa. PLoS ONE, 10(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130649