Incidence and predictors of loss to follow-up among HIV-positive adults in northwest Ethiopia: a retrospective cohort study.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Tropical medicine and health, 2020, 48, (1), pp. 78
Issue Date:
Full metadata record


Despite the rapid expansion of antiretroviral therapy services, 'loss to follow-up' is a significant public health concern globally. Loss to follow-up of individuals from ART has a countless negative impact on the treatment outcomes. There is, however, limited information about the incidence and predictors of loss to follow-up in our study area. Thus, this study aimed to determine the incidence rate and predictors of loss to follow-up among adult HIV patients on ART.


A retrospective cohort study was undertaken using 484 HIV patients between January 30, 2008, and January 26, 2018, at Debre Markos Referral Hospital. All eligible HIV patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in this study. Data were entered into Epi-data Version 4.2 and analyzed using STATATM Version 14.0 software. The Nelson-Aalen cumulative hazard estimator was used to estimate the hazard rate of loss to follow-up, and the log-rank test was used to compare the survival curve between different categorical variables. Both bivariable and multivariable Cox-proportional hazard regression models were fitted to identify predictors of LTFU.


Among a cohort of 484 HIV patients at Debre Markos Referral Hospital, 84 (17.36%) were loss their ART follow-up. The overall incidence rate of loss to follow-up was 3.7 (95% CI 3.0, 5.0) per 100 adult-years. The total LTFU free time of the participants was 2294.8 person-years. In multivariable Cox-regression analysis, WHO stage IV (AHR 2.8; 95% CI 1.2, 6.2), having no cell phone (AHR 1.9; 95% CI 1.1, 3.4), and rural residence (AHR 0.6; 95% CI 0.37, 0.99) were significant predictors of loss to follow-up.


The incidence of loss to ART follow-up in this study was low. Having no cell phone and WHO clinical stage IV were causative predictors, and rural residence was the only protective factor of loss to follow-up. Therefore, available intervention modalities should be strengthened to mitigate loss to follow-up by addressing the identified risk factors.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: