The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been a nationally and internationally respected leader in AIDS/HIV research and prevention for decades.
Benjamin Chi of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led an international team of investigators in a research program aimed at better defining medical parameters that indicate the best practices for AIDS/HIV treatment worldwide. UAB has been very active in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and South America. Chi’s work was reported at the Public Library of Science medicine web site on October 25, 2011.
The research focused on the definition of a standard definition for loss-to-follow-up (LTFU) that can be used by HIV antiretroviral programs worldwide. A standard measure allows comparison of different types of treatment programs worldwide and will allow better use of funding and manpower.
The study involved 111 health facilities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The researchers conclude that one of the most important factors in antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the continuation of a patient in that program. High rates of attrition are correlated with higher rates of death.
“Based on this evaluation, we recommend the adoption of greater than or equal to180 d (days) since the last clinic visit as a standard LTFU definition. Such standardization is an important step to understanding the reasons that underlie patient attrition and establishing more reliable and comparable program evaluation worldwide.”
Universal Definition of Loss to Follow-Up in HIV Treatment Programs: A Statistical Analysis of 111 Facilities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
Benjamin H. Chi 1,2*, Constantin T. Yiannoutsos 3, Andrew O. Westfall 1,2, Jamie E. Newman 4, Jialun Zhou 5, Carina Cesar 6, Martin W. G. Brinkhof 7, Albert Mwango 8, Eric Balestre 9, Gabriela Carriquiry 10, Thira Sirisanthana 11, Henri Mukumbi 12, Jeffrey N. Martin 13, Anna Grimsrud 14, Melanie Bacon 15, Rodolphe Thiebaut 9, on behalf of the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS Collaboration
1 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America, 2 Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, 3 Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America, 4 RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States of America, 5 The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 6 Fundacio´n Hue´sped, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 7 University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 8 Zambian Ministry of Health, Lusaka, Zambia, 9 INSERM U897, Bordeaux Segalen University ISPED, Bordeaux, France, 10 Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, 11 Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 12 Amo-Congo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 13 University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 14 University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 15 National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America
Citation: Chi BH, Yiannoutsos CT, Westfall AO, Newman JE, Zhou J, et al. (2011) Universal Definition of Loss to Follow-Up in HIV Treatment Programs: A Statistical Analysis of 111 Facilities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. PLoS Med 9(10): e1001111. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001111