Lars Jørgen Østergaard

Excessive mortality and loss to follow-up among HIV-infected children in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa: a retrospective follow-up study

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Objectives: To estimate the magnitude of mortality and loss to follow-up and describe predictors of mortality among HIV-infected children in Guinea-Bissau. Methods: Retrospective follow-up study among HIV-infected children under 15 years of age at the largest HIV-clinic in Guinea-Bissau from 2006–2016. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify predictors of mortality. Results: Of 525 children were included in the analysis: 371 (70.7%) with HIV-1, 17 (3.2%) with HIV-2, 25 (4.8%) with HIV-1/2, and 112 (21.3%) with HIV of unknown type. At diagnosis, the median age was 3.5 years, 44.7% met the WHO criteria for severe immunodeficiency by age based on CD4 cell count, and 59.4% were underweight. The median follow-up time was 6 months. Despite the availability of antiretroviral treatment, the mortality rate was 10.4 deaths per 100 person-years of follow-up. Within the first year of follow-up, 11.0% died, 3.1% were transferred and 38.8% were lost to follow-up, leaving 47.1% in follow-up. Severe immunodeficiency (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 2.52, 95% CI: 1.22–5.21) and underweight (aHR = 3.14, 95% CI: 1.40–7.02) were independent predictors of mortality. Conclusions: This study reveals a high rate of early mortality and loss to follow-up among HIV-infected children in Guinea-Bissau. Initiatives to improve patient retention are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

    Research areas

  • children, Guinea-Bissau, HIV, HIV-2, mortality, sub-Saharan Africa

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