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Background. Continuous health monitoring of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients is critical to allow uninterrupted access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and sustained viral suppression. Despite public health effort for patient retention in care, many HIV-infected patients fail to maintain effective engagement in Health Services. This study reports the attendance of HIV infected individuals for routine exams in a Brazilian outpatient clinic.
Methods. Patients were enrolled in two moments, 2010/2011 and 2014/2015, as they attended the public service for monitoring HIV infection status. The individuals that agreed to participate the study signed an informed consent and completed a structured questionnaire.
Results. Of 58 initially expected patients, only 31 participated in the second part of the study. The reasons for these individuals not returning to the health service during the study period were not related to death (1.7%) and the majority of them still remained enrolled in the service and in follow-up.
Discussion. The difficulty of HIV infected patients in returning to healthcare services have been reported by several authors. Among the barriers that prevent monitoring, we suggest that noncompliance may also be linked to years of study. However this subject needs more investigation.
In this study, we just report the attendance rate of HIV infected patients in a Brazilian public service. We have not stated causes for absence or suggest strategies to patients retention in health care. This paper is not intended to be submitted to a peer review journal.