Late entry to HIV and AIDS care and treatment, Juba Teaching Hospital, Juba, South Sudan, 2013–2016
Late diagnosis of HIV and enrolment to care are global public health challenges. This study aimed to characterise late HIV diagnoses and initiation of treatment among patients at Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH) in South Sudan. We conducted a retrospective review of lab-confirmed HIV patients at JTH, 2013–2016. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were entered into and descriptive statistics were calculated using Microsoft Excel. We identified 401 patients, with mean age 33.71±4.54 years, 235 (59%) were female, 307 (77%) were late entry, 64 (16%) were lost to follow-up, and 57 (14%) died within 12 months of diagnosis. Among patients who presented late, 122 (57%) were female, and 112 (53%) were <34 years old. Among patients who died, 33 (58%) were male, and 52 (91%) had CD4 counts <350 cells/mm3 and World Health Organization (WHO) stage >2 at diagnosis. Late diagnosis of HIV infection is a significant public health problem in South Sudan, particularly for younger and female patients.
Keywords: antiretroviral therapy, insecurity, late diagnosis, mortality, women