COVID-19 and HIV viral load suppression in children and adolescents in Durban, South Africa

Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

Field Value
Title COVID-19 and HIV viral load suppression in children and adolescents in Durban, South Africa
Creator Mathamo, Asandile Naidoo, Kimesh L. Dorward, Jienchi Archary, Thashir Bottomly, Christian Archary, Moherndran
Subject — paediatric HIV, viral load testing, COVID-19, children, South Africa
Description Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses challenges to paediatric and adolescent HIV treatment programme. Modelling exercises raised concerns over potential impact of disruptions.Objectives: To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on viral load (VL) testing among infants, children and adolescents on antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Durban, South Africa.Method: Routinely collected, aggregated data of monthly VL counts done on all those less than 19 years old from January 2018 to January 2022 was analysed. An interrupted time series analysis using a Prais-Winsten linear regression model, including terms for lockdowns and excess mortality determined VL trends.Results: The unadjusted mean VL was 2166 (confidence interval [CI]: 252.2) and 2016 (CI: 241.9), P = 0.039, and percentage VL suppression rates (72.9%, CI: 2.4% vs 73.6%, CI: 1.8%) across COVID and pre-COVID periods, showing no significant difference, P = 0.262. In the interrupted time series analysis, modelled monthly VL counts did not differ significantly by lockdown level (e.g., level 5 lockdown: –210.5 VLs, 95% CI: –483.0 to +62.1, P = 0.138) or excess mortality (–0.1, 95% CI: –6.3 to 6.1, P = 0.969). A significant downward trend in VL testing over time, including during the pre-COVID-19 period (–6.6 VL per month, 95% CI: –10.4 to –2.7, P = 0.002), was identified.Conclusion: Viral load suppression for children and adolescents were not negatively affected by COVID-19. A trend of decrease in VL testing predated COVID-19.What this study adds: Evidence presented that HIV VL testing and suppression rates in children and adolescents in a high burden setting were sustained through the COVID pandemic.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor N/A
Date 2022-12-02
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — retrospective cohort study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajhivmed.v23i1.1424
Source Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine; Vol 23, No 1 (2022); 7 pages 2078-6751 1608-9693
Language eng
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Coverage KZN, South Africa Children and Adolescents —
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Asandile Mathamo, Kimesh L. Naidoo, Jienchi Dorward, Thashir Archary, Christian Bottomley, Moherndran Archary