Scale-up of HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) services for children has expanded access, but significant gaps and challenges remain. We examined lost to follow-up (LTF) and mortality in a large cohort of children enrolled in HIV care in Mozambique.Methods:
Routinely collected medical data on children 0–14 years enrolled in care 2009–2013 at ICAP-supported health facilities in 5 provinces of Mozambique were used. Children not receiving ART (pre-ART) were considered LTF if they did not a have a visit within 12 months of the end of data collection; for those receiving ART, LTF was no visit within 6 months. Competing risk and Kaplan-Meier estimators were used, respectively, to estimate pre-ART and on ART LTF and mortality.Results:
A total of 13,695 children enrolled in HIV care at 64 health facilities (48.6%, <2 years), and 7733 (56.5%) initiated ART during follow-up. Cumulative incidence of pre-ART LTF was 32.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 32.1–33.7] and 34.4% (95% CI: 33.6–35.2) by 12 and 24 months, respectively, and was highest in children <5 years (12-month LTF in children 2–4 years, 34.2%, 95% CI: 32.6–35.9). Pre-ART mortality at 12 months was 3.3% (95% CI: 3.0–3.6) and was highest in children <2 years (4.1%, 95% CI: 3.6–4.6). On ART, LTF was 28.6% (95% CI: 27.6–29.7) and 37.6 (95% CI: 36.4–38.8) at 12 and 24 months, and 12 months mortality after ART was 8.0% (95% CI: 7.3–8.7).Conclusions:
High rates of LTF were observed in this large cohort of HIV-infected children accessing care in Mozambique both before and after ART initiation highlighting the urgent need for interventions to improve retention in routine care settings.