Factors associated with viral suppression among adolescents on antiretroviral therapy in Homabay County, Kenya
Mwangi, Anne Wangechi
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Background: Globally, it is estimated that about 1.8 million adolescents (aged 10–19 years) were living with HIV in 2015. In Kenya an estimated 133,455 adolescents were living with HIV in 2015, of which 75% (105,679) were in need of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Among adolescents on ART in 2016, 63% reported viral suppression; which is far below the UNAIDS targets of 90%. Viral suppression (having less than 1000 copies of viral RNA/ml of blood) is a key indicator of HIV treatment success, and is associated with better quality of life and reductions in HIV incidence at a population level. Homabay County recorded the highest HIV prevalence (26%) and the highest number of adolescents living with HIV in Kenya (15,323) in 2015. By the end of June 2017 5,709 adolescents were initiated on ART in Homabay County. Despite the successes in initiating HIV positive adolescents on ART, little is known about the factors that are associated with viral suppression. The current study investigated the factors associated with viral suppression among adolescents initiated on ART before November 30, 2017 in Homabay County, Kenya. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 925 adolescents registered on ART for at least 6 months and with at least one documented viral load in the last 12 months, in six health facilities in Homabay County. Data was extracted from the electronic medical records and exported into an excel spreadsheet. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated to viral suppression using Stata 12.0.