Missed and Lost to Follow-up Cases in HIV Positive Patients and the Impact of Lockdown During COVID-19 Pandemic on Adherence to Anti-retroviral Therapy at ART Center, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

Authors

  • Sudha Sharma MLB Medical College, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Rambabu Singh GMC Medical College, Orai, Uttar Pradesh
  • Anil Kumar Malhotra MLB Medical College, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47203/IJCH.2023.v35i01.021

Keywords:

Humans, HIV Infections, Cross- Sectional Studies, Rehabilitation, Vocational, Lost to Follow-Up, Pandemics, Counseling, Informed Consent, Fear, Surveys and Questionnaires

Abstract

Background: Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV has changed a highly fatal disease to a chronic manageable condition. National technical guidelines by NACO say that adherence of >95%(optimal) is required for optimal viral load suppression which is a challenge both for the patient and the health system.

Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the reasons for missed and lost to follow-up (LFU) cases and to assess the impact of the COVID pandemic on ART adherence.

Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study conducted at ART center, Jhansi.

Methods and Material: 357 patients were administered a self-designed questionnaire after taking informed consent to enquire about the reasons for missing doses and LFU and whether they missed treatment during the lockdown.

Statistical analysis used: the results were expressed in frequencies and percentages and appropriate statistical tests were applied.

Results: 72% HIV patients had optimal adherence and 6.7% were on second-line treatment. Out of 357 patients, 56 had missed treatment and 10 were LFU. The main reasons for the missing were run out of pills, busy with other things and being away from home. The number of episodes of missed and LFU increased during the pandemic. The main problems faced were lack of transport (24), fear of catching the disease (7), no money to hire a vehicle (5).

Conclusions: Constant monitoring and handholding of those with suboptimal adherence is required. Travel allowance to such patients and regular counseling will help to ensure adherence. Long-term solutions include vocational rehabilitation and awareness programs to reduce stigma and discrimination.

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References

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Published

2023-03-31

How to Cite

1.
Sharma S, Singh R, Malhotra AK. Missed and Lost to Follow-up Cases in HIV Positive Patients and the Impact of Lockdown During COVID-19 Pandemic on Adherence to Anti-retroviral Therapy at ART Center, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2023 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 May 22];35(1):117-21. Available from: https://iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/2513

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