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Effect of late HIV diagnosis on HIV-related mortality among adults in general hospitals of Central Zone Tigray, northern Ethiopia: a retrospective cohort study

Authors Belay H, Alemseged F, Angesom T, Hintsa S, Abay M

Received 16 May 2017

Accepted for publication 16 August 2017

Published 22 September 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 187—192


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Hadera Belay,1 Fessahaye Alemseged,2 Teklit Angesom,1 Solomon Hintsa,1 Mebrahtu Abay1

1Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Aksum University, Aksum, Ethiopia; 2Department of Epidemiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Background: The global incidence of HIV infection is not significantly decreasing, especially in sub-Saharan African countries, including Ethiopia. Though there is availability and accessibility of free HIV services, people are not being diagnosed early for HIV, and hence patients are still dying of HIV-related causes. This research is aimed at verifying the effect of late diagnosis of HIV on HIV-related mortality in Central Zone Tigray, Ethiopia.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study among adult (≥15 years old) HIV patients in three general hospitals of Tigray was conducted. Record reviews were carried out retrospectively from 2010 to 2015. Sample size was determined using stpower Cox in Stata software. Data were entered into EpiData version 3.1 software and transferred to Stata version 12 for analysis. Both bivariable and multivariable analyses were performed using Cox regression model to compare the HIV-related mortality of exposed (cluster of differentiation 4 cells count <350 cells/mm3) and nonexposed (≥350 cells/mm3) patients using adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).
Result: In all, 638 HIV patients were analyzed, contributing 2,105.6 person-years. Forty-eight (7.5%) patients died of HIV-related causes with a mortality rate of 2.28 per 100 person-years. In the multivariable Cox regression model, patients with late diagnosis of HIV had a higher risk of mortality (AHR =3.22, 95% CI: 1.17–8.82) than patients with early diagnosis of HIV. Rural residence (AHR =1.96, 95% CI: 1.05–3.68), unemployment (AHR =2.70, 95% CI: 1.03–7.08), bedridden patients (AHR =2.98, 95% CI: 1.45–6.13), ambulatory patients (AHR =2.54, 95% CI: 1.05–6.15), and baseline hemoglobin level of <11 mg/dL (AHR =3.06, 95% CI: 1.51–6.23) were other independent predictors of mortality.
Conclusion and recommendations: Late diagnosis of HIV increased HIV-related mortality. Rural residence, unemployment, bedridden and ambulatory patients, and baseline hemoglobin level <11 mg/dL were also independent predictors of HIV-related mortality.

Keywords: HIV, early/late diagnosis, CD4 cell count, HIV-related mortality, Tigray, Ethiopia

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