Background A key goal of ART is to achieve and maintain durable viral suppression. Thus, the most important use of the viral load measurement is to monitor the effectiveness of therapy after initiation of ART. The main objective of the study was to determine the time for virological suppression and its associated factors among people living with HIV taking antiretroviral treatments in East Shewa Zone, Oromiya, Ethiopia.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus presenting to the study health centers between October 3, 2011 and March 1, 2013 were included in the study given the following criteria: age 18 years or greater, eligible to start ART. All patients with baseline viral load measurement were included in the study. Interaction between explanatory variables with the response variable was analyzed by using cross tab features of SPSS, IBM Inc. Significance group comparison was done by Kaplan Meier log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard model was used to select significant factors to the variability between groups.
Result : Plasma viral load was suppressed below the detection level in 72% of individuals taking different regimen of ART. The median HIV-1 plasma viral load in the cohort was estimated to be log 5.3111 copies/ml. Survival curve difference was observed in the category of marital status (p- value 0.023) and baseline CD4 value (p- value 0.023). The estimated median time to PVL suppression was 181days (CI: 140.5-221.4) with the age group of 30-39years having minimum time to achieve suppression with 92 days (CI: 60.1-123.8) and the maximum time required to reach the level was found among the age group between 50-59 years.
Conclusion : The estimated time to achieve PVL after taking ART was found to be 181 days. Factors affecting time to suppression level was marital status and baseline CD4.
Keywords: Viral load, ART, Ethiopia, Suppression, HIV