Predictors of antiretroviral therapy interruptions and factors influencing return to care at the Nkolndongo Health District, Cameroon
Background: Antiretroviral therapy is a lifelong commitment that requires consistent intake of tablets to optimize health outcomes, attain and maintain viral suppression. Objective: We aimed to elicit predictors of treatment interruption amongst PLHIV and identify motivating factors influ- encing return to care. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study using a mixed-method approach in four hospitals in Yaoundé. Sociodemo- graphic and clinical data were collected from ART registers. Using purposeful sampling, thirteen participants were enrolled for interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using Epi-Info and Atlas-TI for qualitative analysis. Ethical clearance ap- proved by CBCHS-IRB. Results: A total of 271 participants records were assessed. The mean age was 33 years (SD±11years). Private facilities CASS and CMNB registered respectively 53 (19.6%) and 14 (5.2%) participants while CMA Nkomo and IPC had 114 (42.1%) and 90 (33.2%) participants. Most participants (75.3%) were females [OR 1.14; CI 0.78-1.66] compare with males. 78% had no viral load test results. Transport cost and stigmatization constituted the most prominent predictors of treatment interruption (47.5%) and (10.5%) respectively. Belief in the discovery of an eminent HIV cure and the desire to raise offspring motivated 30% and 61%, respectively to resume treatment. Conclusion: Structural barriers like exposed health facility, and dispensing ARVs in open spaces stigmatizes clients and increases odds of attrition. Attrition of patients on ART will be minimized through implementation of client centered ap- proaches like multiplying proxy ART pick points, devolving stable clients to community ARV model.
Keywords: ART interruption; attrition; return to care; predictors; motivating factors; Cameroon.
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