Identifying Correlates of Default Among ART Patients at a Rural Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

South Africa

I spent this summer investigating HIV+ patients who defaulted on their ART treatment. Since the start of 2015, approximately 900 patients were listed as defaulters from COSH, the district hospital. After visiting the 15 rural clinics that refer to COSH, I was able to locate 45% of those supposed defaulters, resulting in an overall default rate of 15% (on par with other studies from the region). I examined the correlates of default for those people, finding that defaulters tended to be younger males who were on ART for shorter amounts of time with lower CD4 counts and higher viral loads.