Patient-level outcomes and virologic suppression rates in HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in Rwanda

Int J STD AIDS 2018; 29: 861-872 (Journal)

Riedel D. J., Stafford K. A., Memiah P., Coker M., Baribwira C., Sebeza J., Karorero E., Nsanzimana S., Morales F., Redfield R. R.

The Rwanda national HIV program has been successful at scaling up antiretroviral therapy (ART) to achieve universal access. The AIDSRelief Model of Care focuses on four key principles: (1) earlier initiation of ART; (2) use of durable, highly-potent, and sequence-friendly first-line ART regimens; (3) early detection of treatment failure; and (4) provision of community-based care and support to ensure optimal adherence and follow up/engagement in care. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of randomly-selected HIV-infected patients at AIDSRelief-supported sites using a stratified, random sample of 583 adults (>15 years) who initiated ART from 30 June 2008 to 1 February 2010. At ART initiation, the median patient age was 38 years, and 67% were female. The baseline median CD4+ cell count was 309 cells/mm(3). Overall virologic suppression was 91%. Married/ever married status (adjusted prevalence odds ratio [aPOR] 3.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-10.78) and self-reported adherence >/=95% in the past month (aPOR 2.76, 95% CI 1.00-7.62) were significantly associated with viral suppression in the multivariable model. Excellent virologic outcomes were achieved in Rwandan AIDSRelief sites utilizing the AIDSRelief Model of Care during the scale-up of ART in the country.

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