HIGHER RATES OF VIRAL SUPPRESSION AMONG HIV POSITIVE PAEDIATRIC PATIENTS USING MULTI-MONTH ART DELIVERY MODEL IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA
Authors & Affiliations: I.N Usman1 & S.O Usman2
1Department of Public Health, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
2Department of Chemical Pathology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
In Nigeria where drug resistance testing is rarely performed and poor adherence is blamed for treatment failure, programmatic approaches to preventing & handling these are thus essential. This study was aimed at determining and monitoring HIV/AIDS disease progression using viral load to provide prognostic information and evaluate patients for viral suppression using the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline strategies.
This study was an observational longitudinal prospective cohort study of subjects living with HIV already initiated on antiretroviral therapy for at least six months, enrolled in health facilities across Ondo & Ekiti States, Western Nigeria, during a 12-month observation period (January – December 2017). All data were statistically analyzed, using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0.
A total of 3920 (1005 males & 2915 females) subjects mostly between 25 – 54 years, with a mean age of 39.35 ± 10.41 years. 3086 (78.7%) of the subjects had viral suppression of <1000 RNA copies per ml. The 834 subjects went through intensive adherence counseling for three months and viral load test repeated three further months after, which made 3377 (86.1%) subjects have <1000 RNA copies per ml.
TABLE 1 – Chi square result showing influence of current ARV therapy regimen, ARV therapy adherence & WHO clinical staging on viral load outcome
VARIABLES χ² df Critical value Decision
ARV therapy adherence influence 236.42 1 3.84 Rejected
on viral load outcome
HIV treatment enhanced adherence counseling is key to the achieving viral suppression and determine infection prognosis, thus, routine viral load monitoring will ultimately help in HIV/AIDS disease progression follow up and reduce treatment failure tendencies. This will help more patients stay on first line regimen and prolong their life expectancy, indicating that the UNAIDS last 90 target is achievable.