Influence of COVID-19 on HIV/AIDS Retention for People living with HIV

Influence of COVID-19 on HIV/AID Retention for People living with HIV

  • Emmanuel Mungoma Department of Public Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Brian Chanda Chiluba University of Zambia, School of Health Sciences
Keywords: Retention;, Timing of Drug Pick-up;, Late Drug Pick-up


Background: In the time of Covid-19, various strategies are initiated by the Ministry of Health to ensure that accessibility to health care services remains within reach and undisturbed. The developed strategies include: issues of retention implemented through ensuring that stable client receive multi month dispensation, fast track service, and optimize appointment system. Despite the implementation of these strategies tailored to the improvement of patient retention, many patients at Kanyama level one hospital miss clinical appointments with late timings of drug pick-up. The factors behind late drug pick-up in the presence of COVID-19 were not clearly documented. We therefore set out to investigate the influence of COVID-19 on the timing of drug pick-up among HIV/AIDS patients at Kanyama level one hospital in Zambia. Methods and Materials: We carried out a Cross-sectional study at Kanyama level one hospital in Zambia using electronic records of 300 HIV patients were are on ART. Circular systematic sampling was used to select respondents from the list after an initial consented chat. Binary logistic regression was fitted on the data to determine the influence of COVID-19 and its interactions with background factors on late drug pick-up. Results: The presence of COVID-19 reduces the chances of picking-up the drugs latte. The interaction of the presence of COVID-19 and aging, (married or being single), having tertiary education and being female increases the chances of picking up the drugs late. Conclusion: If the complete viral suppression program goals are to be achieved, programs for the improving retention among HIV patients on ART should incorporate more sensitizations and encouragements to the affected subgroups and invest more in the community adherence group, and faith base community initiative (FBI) to maximize on community drug distribution as effective mode of DSD in the presence of COVID-19.