April 10, 2017

Tracking down patients lost to HIV care: home visits need to be carefully targeted

Written by Keith Alcorn

This article originally appeared on NAM’s website.

Efforts to track patients lost to care are likely to produce very little return on the money and time spent unless clinics target tracing activities carefully, a study of patients lost to follow-up in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania has found.

The findings, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, show that almost one in four of these patients turned out to have died and one in five had transferred care to another clinic.

Considering that some cohorts report that up to one-third of patients are lost from care after five years, follow-up of lost patients is vital to bring people back into care and re-establish antiretroviral treatment (ART) and viral suppression.

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