Publications & Reports

Are death and loss to follow-up still high in people living with HIV on ART after national scale-up and earlier treatment initiation? A large cohort study in government hospital-based setting, Myanmar: 2013-2016.

Aung ZZ, Oo MM, Tripathy JP, Kyaw NTT, Hone S, Oo HN, Majumdar SS
National AIDS Programme, Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health and Sports, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.


SETTING: Myanmar National AIDS Program has had significant scale-up of services and changes in CD4 eligibility criterion for ART initiation from 2013 to 2016. This study assessed early death within 6 months and attrition (death and loss to follow-up, LTFU) after ART initiation and their associated factors. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study on people living with HIV (PLHIV >15 year of age) enrolled at three specialist hospitals in Yangon from 1st June 2013 to 30th June 2016. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of early death and attrition. RESULTS: Of 11,727 adults enrolled, 11,186 (95%) were initiated on ART, providing 15,964 person-years of follow-up. At baseline, median age was 36 years [IQR: 30-43], 58% were men and median CD4 count was 151 cells/mm3 (IQR: 54-310). There were 733(6%) early deaths, 961(9%) total deaths and 1371 (12%) LTFU during the study period. Independent risk factors for early death were older age (41-50 and >/=51 years) [aHR 1.38, 1.07-1.78 and 1.68, 1.21-2.34], male (1.84, 1.44-2.35), low weight (2.06, 1.64-2.59), bedridden, (3.81, 2.57-5.66) and CD4 count </= 50 cells/mm3 (6.83, 2.52-18.57). In addition to above factors, high attrition was associated with an abacavir-based regimen. CONCLUSION: Although there was a low rate of early deaths, patients were being diagnosed late and there was a high attrition rate from specialist hospitals. Concerted effort is required to increase early diagnosis and ART initiation, and strengthen community systems for HIV care to achieve ambitious goal of ending AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: PloS One
  • Published: 25/09/2018
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 9
  • Pagination: e0204550