Study Examines HIV Patients In Uganda

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on a study, released this week by Clinical Infectious Diseases and titled “High Retention in Care among HIV-infected Patients Entering Care with CD4 Levels >350/µl under Routine Program Conditions in Uganda,” which “follow[ed] patients in two Ugandan HIV care centers (one rural, one urban), [and] found not only were retention rates high for patients still considered too healthy to be eligible for medicine under guidelines of the last few years, but concluded those retention rates may be ‘systematically underestimated in many other settings.” According to the blog, “The findings carry weight against a long unchallenged perception that people who feel well drop out of treatment, the resulting conclusion that patients receiving medicine before they have begun to feel ill can’t be counted on to continue to take it, and the specter that is then raised — that early treatment could lead to widespread drug resistance” (Barton, 8/7).