Effect of disclosure of HIV status on patient representation and adherence to clinic visits in eastern Uganda:
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Background: Disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status improves adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and increases the chance of virological suppression and retention in care. However, information on the effect of disclosure of HIV status on adherence to clinic visits and patient representation is limited. We evaluated the effects of disclosure of HIV status on adherence to clinic visits and patient representation among people living with HIV in eastern Uganda. Methods: In this quasi-randomized study, we performed a propensity-score-matched analysis on observational data collected between October 2018 and September 2019 from a large ART clinic in eastern Uganda. We matched participants with disclosed HIV status to those with undisclosed HIV status based on similar propensity scores in a 1:1 ratio using the nearest neighbor caliper matching technique. The primary outcomes were patient representation (the tendency for patients to have other people pick-up their medications) and adherence to clinic visits. We fitted a logistic regression to estimate the effects of disclosure of HIV status, reported using the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: Of 957 participants, 500 were matched. In propensity-score matched analysis, disclosure of HIV status significantly impacts adherence to clinic visits (OR = 1.63; 95% CI, 1.13–2.36) and reduced patient representation (OR = O.49; 95% CI, 0.32–0.76). Sensitivity analysis showed robustness to unmeasured confounders (Gamma value = 2.2, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Disclosure of HIV status is associated with increased adherence to clinic visits and lower representation to collect medicines at the clinic. Disclosure of HIV status should be encouraged to enhance continuity of care among people living with HIV.
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