Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH 2016 5 20() doi 10.1111/tmi.12727
To assess follow-up and programmatic outcomes of HIV-exposed infants at Martin Preuss Centre, Lilongwe, from 2012 to 2014.
Retrospective cohort study using routinely collected HIV-exposed infant data. Data were analysed using frequencies and percentages in Stata v.13.
Of 1035 HIV-exposed infants registered 2012-2014, 79% were available to be tested for HIV and 76% were HIV-tested either with DNA PCR or rapid HIV test serology by 24 months of age. 65 infants were found to be HIV-positive and 43% were started on ART at different ages from 6 weeks to 24 months. Overall, 48% of HIV-exposed infants were declared lost-to-follow-up in the database. Of these, 69% were listed for tracing; of these, 78% were confirmed as lost-to-follow-up through patient charts; of these, 51% were traced; and of these, 62% were truly not in care, the remainder being wrongly classified. Commonest reasons for being truly not in care were mother/guardian unavailability to bring infants to MPC, forgetting clinic appointments and transport expenses. Of these 86 patients, 36% were successfully brought back to care and 64% remained lost-to-follow-up.
Loss-to-follow-up remains a huge challenge in the care of HIV-exposed infants. Active tracing facilitates the return of some of these infants to care. However, programmatic data documentation must be urgentlyimproved to better follow-up and link HIV-positive children to ART. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.