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BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) coverage in Myanmar is well below average. This study describes retention and baseline predictors of prognosis from the largest ART program in the country. METHODS: A cohort analysis of adult patients who initiated ART during 2003-2007 was conducted, with follow-up until the end of 2009. The primary outcome was attrition [death plus losses to follow-up (LTF)]. Baseline variables were assessed as potential risk factors. The cumulative probabilities of death, LTF, and attrition up to 5 years were described using Kaplan-Meier estimates. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios of attrition, overall and separately for 2 time periods on ART: 1-6 and 7-36 months. RESULTS: A total of 5963 adults enrolled in the program, providing 17,581 person-years of follow-up. Median age at baseline was 33 years [interquartile range (IQR): 28-38], 61% were men, 45% were in World Health Organization stage IV, and the median CD4 count was 71 cells per cubic millimeter (IQR: 29-164). There were 821 (13.8%) deaths and 389 (6.5%) LTF over the study period, with a 72% probability of being retained in care in the 5-year cohort. Double the rate of loss was contributed by death compared with LTF, and attrition was almost 4 times higher in the period 1-6 months compared with 7-36 months. In the multivariable analyses of the program overall, older age [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR): 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.25 to 1.94], being male (aHR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.25 to 1.85), World Health Organization stage IV (aHR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.19 to 1.74), and body mass index <16 kg/m² (aHR: 2.13, 95% CI: 1.71 to 2.66) were independently predictive of attrition. CONCLUSIONS: The excellent retention over >6 years in this large cohort demonstrates that ART delivery at the primary care level in Myanmar is feasible and should encourage support for further ART expansion in the country.

Original publication




Journal article


J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr

Publication Date





e53 - e62


Adult, Anti-HIV Agents, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Cohort Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, HIV Infections, Humans, Male, Medication Adherence, Myanmar, Treatment Outcome