Objective: To describe the population uptake of HIV care including antiretroviral therapy (ART) and its impact on adult mortality in a rural area of western Kenya with high HIV prevalence during a period of rapid HIV services scale-up.
Design: Adult medical chart data were abstracted at health facilities providing HIV care/ART to residents of a Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) and linked with HDSS demographic and mortality data.
Methods: We evaluated secular trends in patient characteristics across enrollment years and estimated proportions of HIV-positive adult residents receiving care. We evaluated adult (18-64 years) population mortality trends using verbal autopsy findings.
Results: From 2003 to 2008, 5421 HDSS-resident adults enrolled in HIV care; 61.4% (n=3331) were linked to HDSS follow-up data. As the number of facilities expanded from 1 (2003) to 17 (2008), receipt of HIV services by HIV-positive residents increased from less than 1 to 29.5%, and ART coverage reached 64.0% of adults with CD4 cell count less than 250 cells/μl. The proportion of patients with WHO stage 4 at enrollment decreased from 20.4 to 1.9%, and CD4 cell count testing at enrollment increased from 1.0 to 53.4%. Population-level mortality rates for adults declined 34% for all causes, 26% for AIDS/tuberculosis, and 47% for other infectious diseases; noninfectious disease mortality rates remained constant.
Conclusion: The initial years of rapid HIV service expansion coincided with a drop in adult mortality by a third. Continued expansion of population access to HIV clinical services, including ART, and program quality improvements will be necessary to achieve further progress in reducing HIV-related morbidity and mortality.