Setting: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières set up decentralised community antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill centres ("poste de distribution communautaire", PODI) for the follow-up of stable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients.
Objective: To assess retention in care and sustained viral suppression after transfer to three main PODI in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (PODI Barumbu/Central, PODI Binza Ozone/West and PODI Masina I/East).
Design: Retrospective cohort study using routine programme data for adult HIV patients transferred from Kabinda Hospital to PODIs between January 2015 and June 2017.
Results: A total of 337 patients were transferred to PODIs: 306 (91%) were on ART for at least 12 months; 118 (39%) had a routine "12-month" viral load (VL) done, 93% (n = 110) of whom had a suppressed VL <1000 copies/ml. Median time from enrolment into PODI to 12-month routine VL was 14.6 months (IQR 12.2-20.8). Kaplan-Meier estimates of retention in care at 6, 12 and 18 months after enrolment into PODIs were respectively 96%, 92% and 88%.
Conclusion: Retention in care and viral suppression among patients in PODI with VL results were better than patients in clinic care and national outcomes.