RESEARCH ARTICLE

Utilization of ART Services Among People Living with HIV During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case of Kampala District

The Open AIDS Journal 13 Oct 2022 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18746136-v16-e2208170

Abstract

Introduction:

The intense pressure on the health system coupled with strict measures have interrupted ART service utility during the COVID 19 pandemic. In this study, we assessed the Utilization of ART services among People Living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kampala District, Uganda.

Methods:

We studied 9952 records of patient encounters between 24th March and 1st June 2020 from the Open Medical Records System (EMR) and obtained an analytical sample of 647 encounters for PLHIV enrolled in Kampala district; 243 from the Mbuya site, 274 from Kinawataka site and 130 from Banda site. We assessed factors associated with inadequate ART utilization using the modified poison regression (generalized linear model with a poisoned family and a log link) and reported clustered robust standard errors with their corresponding Prevalence Ratios.

Results and Discussion:

The rate of ART utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kampala district was inadequate (14.71%). PLHIV who were in WHO clinical stage 3 had aPR=18.065, 95%CI=17.396 18.759, and P-value =0.001 as compared to those in WHO stage 1. PLHIV who were obese had aPR=1.439, 95% CI=1.103 1.879, P-value =0.007 as compared to those with normal BMI.

Conclusion:

The factors associated with inadequate ART utilization were body mass index and WHO clinical staging of the disease. This information is crucial for strengthening HIV programs and interventions in terms of access to ART services, with a focus on obese infected individuals and those with advanced HIV disease during pandemics that require lock-down measures.

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