We describe severe morbidity and health care resource utilization (HCRU) among HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Abidjan, Côte d′Ivoire.Methods:
All HIV-infected children enrolled in an HIV-care program (2004–2009) were eligible for ART initiation until database closeout, death, ART interruption, or loss to follow-up. We calculated incidence rates (IRs) of density per 100 child-years (CYs) for severe morbidity, HCRU (outpatient care and inpatient care), and associated factors using frailty models with a Weibull distribution.Results:
Of 332 children with a median age of 5.7 years and median follow-up of 2.5 years, 65.4% were severely immunodeficient by World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, and all received cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. We recorded 464 clinical events in 228 children; the overall IR was 57.6/100 CYs [95% confidence interval (CI): 52.1 to 62.5]. Severe morbidity was more frequent in children on protease inhibitor (PI)-based ART compared to those on other regimens [adjusted hazards ratio (aHR): 1.83; 95% CI: 1.35 to 2.47] and to those moderately/severely immunodeficient compared to those not (aHR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.13 to 2.18 and aHR: 2.53; 95% CI: 1.81 to 3.55, respectively). Of the 464 events, 371 (80%) led to outpatient care (IR: 45.6/100 CYs) and 164 (35%) to inpatient care (IR: 20.2/100 CYs). In adjusted analyses, outpatient care was significantly less frequent in children older than 10 years compared with children younger than 2 years (aHR: 0.49; 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.78) and in those living furthest from clinics compared with those living closest (aHR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.47 to 0.90). Both inpatient and outpatient HCRU were negatively associated with cotrimoxazole prophylaxis.Conclusions:
Despite ART, HIV-infected children still require substantial utilization of health care services.