The South African National HIV Pregnancy Cohort: evaluating continuity of care among women living with HIV

By Kate Clouse, Babatyi Malope-Kgokong  Dr. Jacob Bor  Cornelius Nattey  Maanda Mudau  Dr Mhairi Maskew  |  | 

South Africa is home to more people living with HIV than any other country, including nearly one in three pregnant women attending antenatal care. Access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has increased substantially since the start of the national ART program in 2004, with > 95% ART coverage during pregnancy and delivery, and vertical transmission of HIV greatly reduced. However, women who initiate ART during pregnancy are at heightened risk of dropping out of care, particularly after delivery, leading to the potential for viral transmission, morbidity and mortality. It is difficult to evaluate the success of policies of expanded access to ART care, and assess continuity of care, due to the lack of a national longitudinal HIV care database. Also, patient movement between unlinked facilities. For the first time on a national level, we propose to utilize routinely-collected laboratory data to develop and validate a cohort of pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa in a way that is uniquely robust
to facility transfer.

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BMC Public Health