Advanced HIV disease and associated attrition after re-engagement in HIV care in Myanmar from 2003 to 2019: a retrospective cohort study

Anita Mesic, Tobias Homan, Annick Lenglet, Phone Thit, Htay Thet Mar, Saw Myat Sabai, Moe Pyae Thandar, Thin Thin Thwe, Aung Aung Kyaw, Tom Decroo, Alexander Spina, Cono Ariti, Koert Ritmeijer, Josefien Van Olmen, Htun Nyunt Oo, Lutgarde Lynen

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The burden of advanced HIV disease (AHD) and predictors of outcomes among people living with HIV (PLHIV) re-engaging in care are not well known.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of PLHIV who re-engaged in care after being lost to follow-up (LFU), from 2003 to 2019, in Myanmar. We calculated the incidence rates of attrition after re-engagement and performed Cox regression to identify risk factors for attrition.

RESULTS: Of 44 131 PLHIV who started antiretroviral treatment, 12 338 (28.0%) were LFU at least once: 7608 (61.6%) re-engaged in care, 4672 (61.4%) with AHD at re-engagement. The death and LFU rates were 2.21-fold (95% CI 1.82 to 2.67) and 1.46-fold (95% CI 1.33 to 1.61) higher among patients who re-engaged with AHD (p>0.001). Death in patients who re-engaged with AHD was associated with male sex (adjusted HR [aHR] 2.63; 95% CI 1.31 to 5.26; p=0.006), TB coinfection (aHR 2.26; 95% CI 1.23 to 4.14; p=0.008) and sex work (aHR 7.49, 95% CI 2.29 to 22.52; p<0.001). History of intravenous drug use was identified as a predictor of being LFU.

CONCLUSIONS: Re-engagement in HIV care in Myanmar is frequent and those who re-engage carry a high burden of AHD. As AHD at re-engagement is associated with higher attrition rates, implementation of differentiated interventions that enable earlier linkage to care and prompt identification and management of AHD in this population is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberihac069
JournalInternational Health
Number of pages9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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