Background: Despite the benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), there is a growing concern of treatment failure. This study aimed to assess viral non suppression rate and factors associated with HIV viral non suppression among adolescents and adults on ART in Northern Ethiopia.
Methods: A retrospective cross sectional study was done on 19,525 study subjects. All the data in the database of Tigray Health Research Institute was exported to Microsoft excel 2010 and then data verification and filtration were done before exporting to STATA 14.0 for analysis. Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) logistic regression was used for statistical modeling of viral non suppression.
Results: A total of 5153 (26.39%; 95%CI (25.77%, 27.02)) patients had no viral suppression despite being on ART. Being male (AOR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.37), 15-19 years of age (AOR = 4.86, 95%CI: 3.86, 6.12), patients from primary hospital (AOR = 1.26, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.52), WHO staging II (AOR = 1.31, 95%CI: 1.10, 1.54), poor ART adherence level (AOR = 2.56, 95%CI: 1.97, 3.33), fair ART adherence level (AOR = 1.61, 95%CI: 1.36, 1.90), baseline CD-4 count of < 200 cells/micro liter (AOR = 1.33, 95%CI: 1.14, 1.54), recent CD-4 count of < 200 cells/micro liter (AOR = 3.78, 95%CI: 3.34, 4.27), regimen types: 1c (AZT-3TC-NVP) (AOR = 1.32, 95%CI: 1.22, 1.44), 2 h (TDF-3TC-ATV/R) (AOR = 1.79, 95%CI: 1.27, 2.52) and declined immunological responses after ART initiation (AOR = 1.45, 95%CI: 1.30, 1.61) were significantly associated with viral non-suppression.
Conclusions: The virological non suppression was high which makes it less likely to achieve the third 90 UNAIDS target. Being male, patients with WHO staging II and poor ART adherence level were significantly associated with viral non suppression. Therefore, intensive adherence support and counseling should be provided. It is also a high time to determine the antiretroviral drugs resistance pattern given the fact that a large number of patients had virological non suppression.
Keywords: ART; Ethiopia; HIV; Tigray; Viral load; Viral non suppression; Viral suppression.