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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 19, No. 3, 2007, pp. 104-106
Bioline Code: mm07027
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2007, pp. 104-106

 en An audit of how patients get on to antiretroviral therapy in Malawi, and the weight gain they experience in the first six months
Bizuwork, T; Harries, AD; Hochgesang, M; Kamoto, K & Makombe, SD


An operational study was conducted in 6 public sector health facilities in the Southern Region of Malawi to determine a) drop-out rates during the referral process of patients to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and b) weight gained during the first 6 months in patients who were alive and on ART at that time. There were 738 adult HIV-infected eligible patients booked for group counseling, of whom 550 (74.5%) attended individual counseling and started ART. 16% of patients dropped out between booking and group counseling and 9.5% between group counseling and start of ART. In patients who were alive and on ART 6 months after starting, there was a gradual increase in weight with a mean gain of 6.0 kg in men and 5.0 kg in women. There was a slight increase in weight gain in patients in WHO Clinical Stage 3 and 4 compared with those in Stage 1&2, although this was only significant at 6-months between women in Stage 4 compared with women in Stage 1&2 (p <0.05). More information is needed on why patients drop out of the counseling process before starting ART, and whether weight gain is a marker for survival in the early months of ART.

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