Introduction: The Central Africa International epidemiology Database to Evaluate AIDS (CA-IeDEA) is an open observational cohort study investigating impact, progression and long-term outcomes of HIV/AIDS among people living with HIV (PLWH) in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo (ROC) and Rwanda. We describe trends in demographic, clinical and immunological characteristics as well as antiretroviral therapy (ART) use of patients aged > 15 years entering into HIV care in the participating CA-IeDEA site.
Methods: Information on sociodemographic characteristics, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), CD4 cell count, WHO staging and ART status at entry into care from 2004 through 2018 were extracted from clinic records of patients aged > 15 years enrolling in HIV care at participating clinics in Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, ROC and Rwanda. We assessed trends in patient characteristics at enrolment in HIV care including ART initiation within the first 30 days after enrolment in care and calculated proportions, means and medians (interquartile ranges) for the main variables of interest.
Results: Among 69,176 patients in the CA-IeDEA cohort, 39% were from Rwanda, 24% from ROC, 18% from Cameroon, 14% from Burundi and 5% from DRC. More women (66%) than men enrolled in care and subsequently initiated ART. Women were also younger than men (32 vs. 38 years, P < 0.001) at enrolment and at ART initiation. Trends over time show increases in median CD4 cell count at enrolment from 190 cells/µL in 2004 to 334 cells/µL in 2018 at enrolment. Among those with complete data on CD4 counts (60%), women had a higher median CD4 cell count at care entry than men (229 vs. 249 cells/µL, P < 0.001). Trends in the proportion of patients using ART within 30 days of enrolment at the participating site show an increase from 16% in 2004 to 75% in 2018.
Conclusions: Trends from 2004 to 2018 in the characteristics of patients participating in the CA-IeDEA cohort highlight improvements at entry into care and subsequent ART initiation including after the implementation of Treat All guidelines in the participating sites.
Keywords: ARV; Africa; HIV care continuum; HIV epidemiology; cohort studies; low- and middle-income countries.
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of the International AIDS Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International AIDS Society.