Adolescent HIV treatment in South Africa’s national HIV programme: a retrospective cohort study

By  Dr Mhairi Maskew  Dr. Jacob Bor  Dr. William Macleod  Sergio Carmona, Gayle G Sherman  Dr. Matthew Fox  |  | 

The number of South African adolescents receiving HIV care and treatment in South Africa is growing. By use of routinely collected laboratory data from South Africa’s National HIV Programme, we aimed to quantify the numbers of adolescents accessing HIV care and treatment over time, characterise the role of perinatal infection in these trends, and estimate proportions of adolescents seeking HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa’s public sector.
Methods: We did a retrospective, descriptive cohort study of children and adolescents aged 1–19 years accessing care in South Africa’s public sector HIV treatment programme from 2005 to 2016 with a CD4 cell count or viral load recorded in South Africa’s National Health Laboratory Service database. We estimated the total number of children and adolescents entering HIV care with a CD4 cell count or viral load test result by calendar period, as well as the proportion in care and receiving ART with at least one viral load test result. We stratified analyses by gender and by whether the patient entered care at younger than 15 years (probably perinatally infected) or at 15–19 years (probably infected in adolescence).

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