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AIDS Research and Therapy

Factors associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care in South Wollo ZoneEthiopia: a case-control study




 

Background

Access to free antiretroviral therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa has been steadily increasing. The success of large-scale antiretroviral therapy programs depends on early initiation of HIV/AIDs care. The purpose of the study was to examine factors associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care.

Methods

A case-control study was conducted in Dessie referral and Borumeda district hospitals from March 1 to 31, 2010, northern Ethiopia. A total of 320 study participants (160 cases and 160 controls) were included in the study. Cases were people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) who had a WHO clinical stage of III or IV or a CD4 lymphocyte count of less than 200/uL at the time of the first presentation to antiretroviral treatment (ART) clinics. Controls were PLHA who had WHO stage I or II or a CD4 lymphocyte count of 200/uL or more irrespective of clinical staging at the time of first presentation to the ART clinics of the hospitals cases and controls were interviewed by trained nurses using a pre-tested and structured questionnaire. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten health workers and eight PLHA.

Results

PLHA who live with their families [OR = 3.29, 95%CI: 1.28-8.45)], lived in a rented house [OR = 2.52, 95%CI: 1.09-5.79], non-pregnant women [OR = 9.3, 95% CI: 1.93-44.82], who perceived ART have many side effects [OR = 6.23, 95%CI:1.63,23.82)], who perceived HIV as stigmatizing disease [OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.09-8.76], who tested with sickness/symptoms [OR = 2.62, 95% CI: 1.26-5.44], who did not disclose their HIV status for their partner [OR = 2.78, 95% CI: 1.02-7.56], frequent alcohol users [OR = 3.55, 95% CI: 1.63-7.71] and who spent more than 120 months with partner at HIV diagnosis[OR = 5.86, 95% CI: 1.35-25.41] were significantly associated with late presentation to HIV/AIDS care. The qualitative finding revealed low awareness, non-disclosure, perceived ART side effects and HIV stigma were the major barriers for late presentation to HIV/AIDS care.

Conclusions

Efforts to increase early initiation of HIV/AIDS care should focus on addressing patient's concerns such as stigma, drug side effects and disclosure.

*Corresponding author: Kebede Deribe kebededeka@yahoo.com

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© 2011 Abaynew et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Information in this article was accurate in February 28, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.