A Successful Model of Expedited Antiretroviral Therapy for Clinically Stable Patients Living With HIV in Haiti

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Abstract

Background:

Recommendations for universal antiretroviral therapy have greatly increased the number of HIV-infected patients who qualify for treatment, particularly with early clinical disease. Less intensive models of care are needed for clinically stable patients.

Setting:

A rapid pathway (RP) model of expedited outpatient care for clinically stable patients was implemented at the Haitian Group for the Study of Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (GHESKIO) Center, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Expedited visits included nurse-led assessments and point-of-service antiretroviral therapy dispensing.

Methods:

We conducted a retrospective analysis including patients who initiated RP care between June 1, 2014, and September 30, 2015, comparing outcomes of patients with timely visit attendance (never >3 days late) with patients with ≥1 nontimely visit within 6 months before RP enrollment. We calculated retention in care and adherence at 12 months, and assessed predictors of both outcomes.

Results:

Of the 2361 patients who initiated RP care during the study period, 1429 (61%) had timely visit attendance and 932 (39%) had ≥1 nontimely visit before RP enrollment. Among RP-enrolled patients, 94% were retained at 12 months and 75% had ≥90% adherence, with higher proportions in those with timely pre-RP visits (95% vs. 92%; 87% vs. 55%). In multivariable analysis, pre-RP visit timeliness was associated with both retention (adjusted odds ratio: 1.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.08 to 2.59) and adherence (adjusted odds ratio: 4.53; 95% confidence interval: 3.58 to 5.72).

Conclusions:

RP care was associated with high levels of retention and adherence for clinically stable patients. Timeliness of pre-RP visits was predictive of outcomes after RP initiation.

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