Correlating Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence and Detection of HIV Viral Loads at Chitipa District Hospital

  • Sekani C. Mkwala Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences, Mzuzu University, Mzuzu, P /bag 201, Malawi
  • Felix Dambula MSc. Molecular biology, BSBS, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Mzuzu University, Mzuzu, P/bag 201, Malawi
Keywords: Poor ART adherence, detectable HIV viral load, HIV drug resistance strains

Abstract

HIV infection remains an epidemic threat around the world mostly prevalent in developing countries especially in sub- Sahara African region where many cultural practices and beliefs aggravate the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Poor Antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence remains a big challenge leading to persistence detection of high HIV viral load results which deteriorate PLHIV health through lowering immunity [1]. This study aimed to determine the correlation of ART adherence with high detection of viral load levels among HIV patients receiving ART at Umoyo ART clinic (Chitipa DHO) in Chitipa district. A retrospective study design using PLHIV records, on HIV viral load results in viral register and ART adherence percentage (based on number of days missed to collect ARV drugs) using Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system between January, 2018 and December, 2018. There were 3890 patients registered alive on ART but 2835 patients had their viral load results in register.  Therefore, 351 sample records were extracted using systematic sampling technique and analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20. The findings showed that 37.7% (n=131) of HIV patients in the study had detectable viral load after a duration of over six months on ART and more experienced in 80/200 (42%) of patients with good adherence. However, poor ART adherence (˂95%) more prevalent in men, youths and HIV patients less than five years on ART. Pearson’s Chi square test indicated a statistical significant on correlation between age and ART adherence as well as ART adherence and HIV viral load results (p<0.05). On the other hand, gender and duration on ART were not significant to ART adherence level. Eventually, it is recommended more ART clerks should be recruited so that any HIV individual initiated on ART should intensively counselled on poor ART adherence which may lead to development of HIV drug resistance strains that need expensive second and third line regimen ARV drugs.

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Published
2019-11-05
Section
Articles