Justice Dery Koku-Anu1*, Harriet Affram Bonful2, Augustine Adomah-Afari1
1Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon
2Academic Affairs Coordinator, Ghana College of Pharmacists, Accra
Corresponding author: jdkoku-anu@st.ug.edu.gh
AGM 2019 – Conference Scientific Abstract

Introduction: The introduction of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) has brought much relief to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV/AIDS) over the years. Defaulting in ART clinic appointments however, remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to assess the factors that influence PLHIV/AIDS to default in ART clinic appointments at the Volta Regional Hospital.

Methodology: Using cross-sectional study design, quantitative data were collected from 190 participants who attend the ART clinic at the Volta Regional Hospital. Descriptive statistical analysis was done to obtain proportions and frequencies for all categorical variables observed. ART defaulting was the main variable of interest, and this was categorized into yes or no. With a significant level at (p<0.05), chi-square and multiple logistic regression analysis were done to determine the association between ART defaulting and the other independent variables.

Results/Discussion: The defaulter rate for ART clinic appointments was 56.8%. 18.4% said they missed appointment dates because of their busy schedule. 4.7% did not see the need to attend the clinic because they felt better or cured of the disease. These proportions had significant relationships with ART defaulting (p<0.05). The custom/culture of the people also had some association with ART defaulting (p<0.05). Again, 54.1% of participants said they spent too much time at the ART clinic, hence the reason for defaulting. For some participants, food insecurity was to blame for their defaulting. The educational level of clients was also observed to have significant association with ART defaulting (p<0.05).

Conclusion/Recommendations: People miss ART appointment dates because of various reasons. It is therefore recommended that caregivers send reminders to clients when appointment dates are approaching. To avert the overcrowding and long waiting hours, ART clinics should be daily. Home visits should be considered, instead of waiting for clients at the clinics.