First line antiretroviral treatment failure and associated factors among people living with HIV in northwest Ethiopia

  • Andualem Genet
  • Zewdie Mekonnen
  • Endalew Yizengaw
  • Daniel Mekonnen
Keywords: HIV; viral load; treatment failure; Ethiopia.


Background: Anti-retroviral treatment enhances the immune status and reduces unwanted outcomes. However, develop- ment of treatment failure and drug resistance raises concern over lifelong treatments to chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Objectives: This study determined proportion of treatment failure (TF) and identified factors associated with TF among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia.

Methods: Facility based cross sectional study was carried out from November, 2017 to April, 2018. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected using structured questioner. Blood sample was collected and analyzed for viral load, complete blood count (CBC), liver and kidney function test and CD4 count. A patient is declared as treatment failure when viral load value is higher than 1000 RNA copies/ml in two consecutive viral load analyses within three months interval. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 23. To identify factors associated with TF, logistic regressions model was employed.

Results: A total of 430 people who had six months and above antiretroviral treatment (ART) follow up were enrolled in the study. Of these, 57.9% were females & the mean age was 38 years. The mean month of ART follow up was 83 months. In the first viral load analysis, 106 (24.7%) of the cohort were virologically failed. These failed people were followed for 3 months with intensive adherence support; then second viral load analysis showed a viralogical failure among 65 people of the second cohort. Thus, the overall viralogical failure or TF was 15.1%. The re-suppression rates were 41(38.7%). Male gender, people with history of drug discontinuation, poor adherence, irregular time of drug intake, multiple sexual practice showed significant association with TF. Moreover, base line and current CD4 counts of <200 cells/ml also demonstrated significant association with TF.

Conclusion: Significant proportion of treatment failure was reported in the present study. Moreover, behavioral factors such as drug discontinuation, poor adherence, multiple sexual partner were associated with treatment failure. Hence, to avoid TF, regular patient counseling and monitoring should be in place. To identify the predictors for treatment failure, further follow-up study is desirable.

Keywords: HIV; viral load; treatment failure; Ethiopia.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905