The scale up of pediatric HIV care and treatment across sub-Saharan Africa has had a significant impact on more than 300,000 children who have accessed antiretroviral therapy (ART). Treatment responses in children have shown promising results, with high rates of viral suppression, immune reconstitution, and improved survival.
Despite these developments, the mortality rate of children on ART is approximately eight times higher for children in resource-limited settings when compared to resource rich countries. A study led by Dr. Margaret McNairy, Dr. Matthew Lamb, and Dr. Elaine Abrams of ICAP examined retention, loss to follow-up, and survival among more than 17,000 children who initiated ART in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Results of the study published recently in the _Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome_ showed suboptimal lost to follow-up and death highest in infants and young children and with significant variation across country program. Continuing to increase clinical capacity to serve HIV-infected children through early ART initiation, active follow-up and better documentation in country programs will likely lead to greater retention in care.
“Read the full article”:http://journals.lww.com/jaids/Abstract/publishahead/Retention_of_HIV_infected_children_on.98373.aspx