Time to Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy Among Patients With HIV-Associated Tuberculosis in Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract

Abstract:

We studied the time interval between starting tuberculosis treatment and commencing antiretroviral treatment (ART) in HIV-infected patients (n = 1433; median CD4 count 71 cells per microliter, interquartile range: 32-132) attending 3 South African township ART services between 2002 and 2008. The overall median delay was 2.66 months (interquartile range: 1.58-4.17). In adjusted analyses, delays varied between treatment sites but were shorter for patients with lower CD4 counts and those treated in more recent calendar years. During the most recent period (2007-2008), 4.7%, 19.7%, and 51.1% of patients started ART within 2, 4, and 8 weeks of tuberculosis treatment, respectively. Operational barriers must be tackled to permit further acceleration of ART initiation as recommended by 2010 WHO ART guidelines.

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