Original Research

Factors associated with retention in HIV care at Sediba Hope Medical Centre

Nishana Ramdas, Johanna C. Meyer, David Cameron
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 16, No 1 | a347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v16i1.347 | © 2015 Nishana Ramdas, Johanna C. Meyer, David Cameron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2015 | Published: 01 July 2015

About the author(s)

Nishana Ramdas, Department of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa; Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa
Johanna C. Meyer, Department of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
David Cameron, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Family Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: Lost to follow-up (LTFU) is a major challenge that hinders the success of antiretroviral treatment (ART).

Objective: To identify factors conducted to a low LTFU rate.

Methods: We conducted a two-part descriptive and quantitative study. Part 1 comprised interviews with clinic staff to determine their perspectives on LTFU and to establish the clinic’s follow-up procedures for patients on ART. Part 2 of the study was a retrospective review of clinic and patient records. LTFU patients were identified and those with contact details were contacted for telephonic interview to determine if they were still on ART and/or their reasons for becoming LTFU.

Results: A low LTFU rate (7.9%; N = 683) was identified. Work-related stress, and lack of transport and funds were reported reasons for LTFU. Monthly visits, non-adherent defaulters and LTFU patients were tracked by an electronic system (SOZO). Factors contributing to high rates of retention in care were: location of the clinic in the inner city, thus in close proximity to patients’ homes or work; clinic operating on Saturdays, which was convenient for patients who could not attend during the week; an appointment/booking system that was in place and strictly adhered to; a reminder SMS being sent out the day before an appointment; individual counselling sessions at each visit and referrals where necessary; and a stable staff complement and support group at the clinic.

Conclusion: Achieving a low LTFU rate is possible by having a patient-centred approach and monitoring systems in place.


antiretrovirals; HIV; AIDS; lost to follow-up; retention in care


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Crossref Citations

1. Where is the evidence? The use of routinely-collected patient data to retain adults on antiretroviral treatment in low and middle income countries–a state of the evidence review
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doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1381330