Original Research

Tracking the rate of initiation and retention on isoniazid preventive therapy in a high human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis burden setting of Lesotho

Eltony Mugomeri, Dedré Olivier, Wilhelmiena M.J. van den Heever
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 34, No 1 | a10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v34i1.10 | © 2019 Eltony Mugomeri, Dedré Olivier, Wilhelmiena M.J. van den Heever | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2019 | Published: 25 November 2019

About the author(s)

Eltony Mugomeri, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe
Dedré Olivier, Department of Health Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Wilhelmiena M.J. van den Heever, Department of Health Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a public health problem, particularly in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). Yet, efforts to reduce TB incidence using isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) have been curtailed by poor uptake of this intervention. This study reviewed the rate of IPT initiation in the sub-Saharan country of Lesotho, which has one of the highest TB incidences in the world.

Methods: Time to IPT initiation in randomly sampled medical records of PLHIV was analysed using Cox’s proportional hazards regression. Differences in the periods of enrolment into Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care were controlled for by considering the year IPT was launched (2011) as the base year and stratifying the medical records into the 2004–2010 cohort (before the launch of IPT) and the 2011–2016 cohort (after the launch).

Results: Out of 2955 patients included in the final analysis, 68.8% had received IPT by the study exit time. However, the overall rate of IPT initiation was 20.6 per 100 person-years, with 135 (6.6%) treatment interruptions. Compared to the 2004–2010 cohort, the 2011–2016 had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher rate of initiation (15.8 vs. 27.0 per 100 person-years, respectively). Age group, district category and duration of antiretroviral therapy emerged as the most significant predictors of IPT initiation, while district category and gender significantly predicted IPT therapy interruption.

Conclusion: These findings indicate a high uptake of IPT with a slow rate of implementation. Significant factors associated with disparities in the initiation and interruption of IPT therapy in this study are important for policy review.


Keywords

Cox’s proportional hazards function; isoniazid preventive therapy; tuberculosis; uptake of health interventions; Lesotho.

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