Article in the Journal of AIDS and HIV Research Vol. 3(5), pp. 100-102, May 2011.
A better understanding of the significance and determinants of loss of follow-up and key potential related outcome measures, such as death and missed study visit would assist program evaluation and provide basis for future interventions. Senegal has one of Africa’s lowest HIV/AIDS infection rate, less than 1%. But vulnerable groups such as sex workers have higher HIV prevalence. Currently, HIV infection among legal sex workers in Dakar has risen to 27.1%, compared to 1% 20 years ago, (Fact sheet, 2004). The prostitution in Senegal has been regulated since 1969. Sex workers register at public health clinics like ours, where they receive photo identity cards and make monthly visits for medical checkups. However, many operate outside the system. We estimate that more than 80% of Senegal sex workers do not register. In a retrospective cohort analysis, loss of follow-rates and death were assessed among HIV infected female sex workers receiving antiretroviral drugs at the “Institute d’Hygiene Social” (IHS) of Dakar, Senegal. Records of 74 HIV infected female sex workers receiving antiretroviral treatment, and followed at the IHS from April 2001 to August 2008 were reviewed. Overall, 15 patients (20.3%) died and 42 (57%) were lost during an average follow-up period of 26 months (18.9). The mean age of patients was 46.6 years old (SD = 7.8) and the mean CD4 count at entry was 215 (SD = 68.6). Using Cox Regression models, we did not find a significant relationship between age, ethnicity, CD4 count at entry or HIV-1 vs. HIV-2 type and loss of follow-up. These findings indicate the need to obtain better longitudinal follow-up data for optimal assessment of the reasons for loss-of follow up among HIV infected female sex workers receiving ARV in Senegal.
(Abstract authors’ own)