WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-129

HIV drug-resistance early-warning indicators and quality care in India: preliminary findings from a pilot study in Pune city

1 National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, India
2 BJ Medical College and Sassoon Hospitals, Pune, India
3 Yashwantrao Chavan Medical College, Pune, India
4 Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India
5 World Health Organization Country Office for India, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Manisha Ghate
Scientist E, National AIDS Research Institute, Post Box 1895, G-73, MIDC, Bhosari, Pune – 411 026
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206681

PMID: 28607310

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Background: India has rapidly scaled up its programme for antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is high potential for the emergence of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR), with an increasing number of patients on ART. It is not feasible to perform testing for HIVDR using laboratory genotyping, owing to economic constraints. This study piloted World Health Organization (WHO) early-warning indicators (EWIs) for HIVDR, and quality-of-care indicators (QCIs), in four ART clinics in Pune city. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in 2015, among four ART clinics in Pune city, India. The data on four standardized EWIs (EWI 1: On-time pill pick-up, EWI 2: Retention of patients in ART care at 12 months after initiation, EWI 3: Pharmacy stock-out, EWI 4: Pharmacy dispensing practices) and three QCIs (QCI 1: Regularity in CD4 testing in patients taking ART, QCI 2: Percentage of patients initiating ART within 30 days of medical eligibility, QCI 3: Percentage of patients initiating ART within 30 days of initiation of anti-tuberculosis therapy) were abstracted into WHO Excel HIV data abstractor tools, from the patient records from April 2013 to March 2014. Results: All four ART clinics met the EWI 4 target (100%) for ART dispensing practices. The target for EWIs on-time pill-pick (EWI 1 >90%) and pharmacy stock-outs (EWI 3: no stock-outs, 100%) were achieved in one clinic. None of the clinics met the EWI 2 target for retention in care at 12 months (>90%) and the overall retention was 76% (95% confidence interval: 73% to 79%). The targets for QCI 1 and QCI 2 (>90% each) were achieved in one and two clinics respectively. None of the clinics achieved the target for QCI 3 (>90%). Conclusion: ART dispensing practices (EWI 4) were excellent in all clinics. Efforts are required to strengthen retention in care and timely pill pick-up and ensure continuity of clinic-level drug supply among the programme clinics in Pune city. The clinics should focus on regularity in testing CD4 count and timely initiation of ART.

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