Re-engagement in HIV care following a missed visit in rural Uganda
Nabaggala, Maria S
Objective We conducted a retrospective cohort study to assess the effect of tracking People Living with HIV (PLHIV) after missed clinic visits and factors associated with return to care in rural Uganda. We assessed retention in care among 650 HIV-infected women and men. We used univariable and multivariable generalized linear models to assess demographic and self-reported factors associated with re-engagement in HIV care. Results Of 381 PLHIV who ever missed a scheduled appointment, 68% were female and most (80%) had initiated ART. Most (70%) of those tracked returned to care. Relative to men, women (adjusted risk ratio [ARR] 1.23; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–1.43; p = 0.009) were more likely to return to care after active tracking. PLHIV who missed scheduled visits for other reasons (forgetting, adequate drug supplies, or long distance to clinic) had reduced odds of return to care (ARR 0.41; 95% CI 0.28–0.59; p < 0.001). These data support close monitoring of patient retention in HIV care and active measures to re-engage those who miss an appointment. Furthermore, they highlight the need for targeted interventions to those more resistant to re-engagement such as men.