Loss to follow-up among children in pre-ART care under the National AIDS Programme, Tamil Nadu, south India.

Devi NP, Kumar AMV. Chinnakali P, Rajendran M, Vasan AS, Rewari BB, Swaminathan S.


Public Health Action; 2017; 7: 90-94.


Setting : Children aged <15 years constitute 7% of all people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in India. A previous study from an antiretroviral therapy (ART) centre in south India reported 82% loss to follow-up (LTFU) among children in pre-ART care (20062011).


Objective: To assess the proportion of LTFU within 1 year of registration among HIV-infected children (aged < 15 years) registered in all 43 ART centres in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, during the year 2012.


Design : This was a retrospective cohort study involving a review of programme records.


Results: Of 656 children registered for HIV care, 20 (3%) were not assessed for ART eligibility. Of those remaining, 226 (36%) were not ART eligible and entered pre-ART care. Among these, at 1 year of registration, 50 (22%) were LTFU, 40 (18%) were transferred out and 136 (60%) were retained in care at the same centre. The child's age, sex, World Health Organization stage or occurrence of opportunistic infection were not associated with LTFU.


Conclusion: One in five children registered under pre-ART care were lost to follow-up. Stronger measures to prevent LTFU and reinforce retrieval actions are necessary in the existing National HIV Programme.


Keywords: HIV; attrition; retention; India; operational research


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