Loss to follow-up trends in HIV-positive patients receiving antiretroviral treatment in Asia from 2003 to 2013

Nicole L. De La Mata, Penh S. Ly, Kinh V. Nguyen, Tuti P. Merati, Thuy T. Pham, Man P. Lee, Jun Y. Choi, Jeremy Ross, Matthew G. Law, Oon T. Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Over time, there has been a substantial improvement in antiretroviral treatment (ART) programs, including expansion of services and increased patient engagement. We describe time trends in, and factors associated with, loss to follow-up (LTFU) in HIVpositive patients receiving ART in Asia. Methods: Analysis included HIV-positive adults initiating ART in 2003-2013 at 7 ART programs in Asia. Patients LTFU had not attended the clinic for ≥180 days, had not died, or transferred to another clinic. Patients were censored at recent clinic visit, follow-up to January 2014. We used cumulative incidence to compare LTFU and mortality between years of ART initiation. Factors associated with LTFU were evaluated using a competing risks regression model, adjusted for clinical site. Results: A total of 8305 patients were included. There were 743 patients LTFU and 352 deaths over 26,217 person-years (pys), a crude LTFU, and mortality rate of 2.83 (2.64-3.05) per 100 pys and 1.34 (1.21-1.49) per 100 pys, respectively. At 24 months, the cumulative LTFU incidence increased from 4.3% (2.9%-6.1%) in 2003-05 to 8.1% (7.1%-9.2%) in 2006-09 and then decreased to 6.7% (5.9%-7.5%) in 2010-13. Concurrently, the cumulative mortality incidence decreased from 6.2% (4.5%-8.2%) in 2003-05 to 3.3% (2.8%-3.9%) in 2010-13. The risk of LTFU reduced in 2010-13 compared with 2006-09 (adjusted subhazard ratio = 0.73, 0.69-0.99). Conclusions: LTFU rates in HIV-positive patients receiving ART in our clinical sites have varied by the year of ART initiation, with rates declining in recent years whereas mortality rates have remained stable. Further increases in site-level resources are likely to contribute to additional reductions in LTFU for patients initiating in subsequent years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
TAHOD-LITE (TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database Low-Intensity TransfEr) is an initiative of TREAT Asia, a program of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, with support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute on Drug Abuse as part of the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA; U01AI069907). The Kirby Institute is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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