The medical journal The Lancet, publishes today the results of a study conducted by Solthis in collaboration with the Donka National Hospital in Conakry and the PNPCSP*, on the effect of the Ebola epidemic on the continuum of HIV care in Conakry.
This article is available from Friday April 10th on thelancet.com
The authors highlight the existence of a significant drop in the frequentation of the Donka National Hospital HIV public facilities in 2014, mainly at the peak of the Ebola outbreak. Thus, between April and December 2014, the proportion of defaulters** among patients receiving ART increased from 0% to 42%. The defaulters who in consequence no longer receive their ART treatment have a risk of acquiring an HIV resistance to ART. This interruption can also lead to an increase of the viral load and so to an increased risk of HIV transmission to their partners.
The authors recommend to strengthen and adapt therapeutic education according to the patient's request during such public health emergencies. An adaptation of the frequency of the ART dispensation may allow patients in good condition not to come back each month in the health facilities.
Thus, efforts in Guinea should now increase HIV testing, trace defaulters, keep patients into the healthcare system and enroll new ones with HIV into care.
* PNPCSP : National Programme for Treatment and Prevention of STIs/HIV-AIDS, Guinea
**The defaulters are the patients who did not attend the last scheduled visit at least 90 days after the given time point.