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Transfer out Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy from Programme Clinic: A Potential “Leak” in the HIV Treatment Cascade

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DOI: 10.4236/wja.2014.44045    2,114 Downloads   2,619 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: India has scaled up ART programme very rapidly. Though there are reports on retention of patients in the national programme, data on transfer out patients within the ART centers are scanty in India. Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment between January 2006 and July 2013. The patients who were transferred out from the ART center at National AIDS Research Institute in Pune were included in the study. The data on whether they reached the respective ART centers were collected either by making telephonic calls to the patients and/or to the respective ART centers. Results: Of the total 3015 patients ever started on treatment from the ART center, 158 (5.24%) were transferred out to other ART centers. Of these, 123 (77.8%) patients reached other centres and they were “transferred in”. However, 15 (9.5%) did not reach to respective ART centers and information could not be obtained for 20 (12.7%) transferred out patients. The analysis showed that those who were not living with their partners were 4.53 times more likely to not to reach the preferred ART centre after taking transfer [OR, 95% CI: (1.24 - 16.51), p = 0.022]. Conclusion: Our data suggest that significant number of transfer out patients is lost in HIV treatment cascade. Considering the total PLHIV on treatment in the country, this group adds significantly to the burden of lost to follow up patients. It is important to strengthen the system of tracking the transfer out patients in the programme which will help in patching an important leak in the cascade of HIV care.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Ghate, M. , Zirpe, S. , Gurav, N. , Paranjape, R. , Rewari, B. and Gangakhedkar, R. (2014) Transfer out Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy from Programme Clinic: A Potential “Leak” in the HIV Treatment Cascade. World Journal of AIDS, 4, 382-386. doi: 10.4236/wja.2014.44045.

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