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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 55 / 103

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B7. Free ARVs associated with Changes in Gender Proportion, age, initial body weight and CD4 count in patients initiating ARV treatment at Lighthouse Clinic

E Mhango1, R Weigel1, M Boxshall1, C Rosano2, M Hosseinipour3, B Nkhwazi1, S Phiri1

1-Lighthouse centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), 2-University of Pittsburgh, 3-University of North Carolina- Project at KCH, Lilongwe

Objectives and Scope:  Within the national ARV programme, ARVs became free of charge since 10th of June 2004. Baseline demographic and clinical parameters of patients starting ARVs at Lighthouse before and after that date are compared.

Methodology:  Routinely collected patient data was entered into a database. Bivariate analysis was performed using SPSS software.

Results: A total of 2857 patients started ARVs at Lighthouse clinic from 2001 to 2004.  

Compared to the patients initiating ARV at the Lighthouse clinic before June 10th 2004 (n=2164), those initiating after this date (n=693) were more likely to be women (58% vs. 50.3%, p=0.002) and younger (mean age: 34.7 years vs. 37.2 years, p<0.0001), and to have lower initial body weight (50.5 Kg vs. 54.1Kg, p<0.0001) and greater CD4 count (97.4 vs. 125.6, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Availibility of free ARVs is associated with increased proportion of women, younger age, lower body weight and less severe immunosuppression of patients starting HAART.

Recommendations: Free ARVs may enable more women, patients at a younger age and at an earlier stage of immunosuppression to access ARVs.

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