Loss to Follow-Up of Stable Antiretroviral Therapy Patients in a Decentralized Down-Referral Model of Care in Johannesburg, South Africa

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A retrospective record review was conducted for patients down referred to primary health care facilities between 2007 and 2009 to assess the rate and reported reasons for loss to follow-up among stable antiretroviral patients in a down-referral model of care in Johannesburg, South Africa. Missing patients were traced telephonically. Of 3361 patients down referred, 4.11% were lost to follow-up. Most patients who were lost to follow-up were lost at the transfer stage between initiation and maintenance sites. Decentralization and nurse management of ART should be prioritized to increase access to and retention in HIV/AIDS care.

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