IJCM  Vol.10 No.3 , March 2019
Impact of Therapeutic Education on the Viral Load of HIV Infected Children and Adolescents on Antiretroviral Therapy at the Douala Laquintinie Hospital, Cameroon
Abstract: Introduction: One of the biggest challenges for HIV-infected adolescents on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the long-term maintenance of viral suppression, which is the third 90% goal of UNAIDS. Therapeutic Education (TE), process of acquiring abilities and skills that help the patient to live optimally with his illness is one of the strategies that contribute to the achievement of viral suppression through the therapeutic adhesion contract and the follow-up of the patient. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of TE on the virologic response of children and adolescents aged 8 - 19 under ART and followed up at the Laquintinie Hospital of Douala (LHD). Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Pediatric Unit of the HIV/AIDS Accredited Treatment Center (ATC) at LHD from February to May 2016. Children and adolescents aged 8 to 19 years on ART, followed in ATC/LHD whose parents had agreed to participate in the study, and who had achieved at least one viral load before and after initiation of TE, were recruited consecutively during routine medical follow-up. Data were collected from patients’ medical records and questionnaires administered to study participants. Results: A total of 198 children and adolescents were included in this study with an average age of 14 years (±3). In this study population, 86.1% of children aged 8 - 10 years had acquired knowledge of the importance of taking medications, 95.4% and 97.3% of adolescents aged 11 - 14 years and 15 - 19 years had knowledge of medication schedules respectively. Among children and adolescents with undetectable viral load prior to initiation of TE, 76.5% maintained an undetectable viral load after initiation of TE. In addition, 72.3% of those whose viral load was detectable before initiation of TE had acquired an undetectable or decreasing viral load after initiation of TE. The only exposure factor significantly associated with maintaining undetectable viral load after initiation of TE was having less than 10 TE sessions (p = 0.02). Conclusion: The virologic response appears to be better in subjects who acquire skills faster through TE and therefore require fewer learning sessions to adapt. In addition, TE effectively contributes to achieving the third 90% goal of UNAIDS.
Cite this paper: Penda, C. , Bissek, A. , Bilong, S. , Boupda, L. , Okala, C. , Ndongo, F. , Ngondi, G. , Eboumbou, E. , Njock, L. and Ndombo, O. (2019) Impact of Therapeutic Education on the Viral Load of HIV Infected Children and Adolescents on Antiretroviral Therapy at the Douala Laquintinie Hospital, Cameroon. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, 109-121. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2019.103011.

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