Factors Associated with Early and Late Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords:HIV; AIDS; Early and Late Initiation of ART; HIV patients; Pakistan
AbstractBackground: Despite the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV is still responsible for substantial illness and death, especially in developing countries. Early start of treatment (ART) is associated with better therapeutic outcome, reduced transmissibility of HIV, reduction in loss to follow-up, and remarkably reduced death rate. Objectives: To find out the factors associated with early and late Initiation of ART among patients affected by HIV in Lahore, Pakistan Methods: From November 2017 to April 2018, researchers conducted an analytical cross-sectional study on 156 HIV patients aged 18 and older that began antiretroviral therapy (ART) at Jinnah & Mayo Hospital, Lahore's HIV clinics. Samples were selected by non-probability convenience sampling and Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess factors related to early and late Initiation of ART. The p-value of less than <0.05 was taken as statistically significant. Results: Among 156 HIV patients, 62.4% were more than 25 years, while 74.6% were male. The proportion of patients who started HIV therapy at an early stage of disease was 68.8%, while the delayed start of HIV therapy was seen in 31.2% study population. Two factors, type of household income and initial CD4 count (cells/ mm3), were reported to relate to early and late ART initiation. Conclusion: The study results highlighted the need to stress upon early treatment of HIV, giving special attention to how programs, research, policies, strict supervision, and required interventions can provide support in the continuum of HIV care.
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