Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Engaging and Retaining HIV patients in care
Australia is on the way to reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal but is hoping to fill in the blanks around why clients are lost to follow up care.
Several sessions this afternoon attempted to assess individual linkage to care and identify factors around why +HIV patients disengage with care.
Individual reasons for disengagement were not surprising with 'Feeling well' and 'Too Busy' listed as the most commonly identified issues. Additionally, the lack of up to date contact details and phone numbers were also listed as an issue.
Predictors associated with a true loss from care were clients in younger age groups, individuals not on treatment, detectable viral loads and previous issues with treatment adherence. Additionally, there were signs drug use, specifically Crystal, was a factor in loss to follow up. There is a need for further examination into the influence of drug use on individual loss of care.
Increased and improved recall systems within clinic practices, additional care team support (presumably nursing and allied health members), better identification of clients at risk of care disengagement and improved inter-practice communication could reduce those individuals lost to follow up.