Research Articles

Adherence by a primary healthcare clinic in KwaZulu-Natal to the national HIV guidelines

Nnaemeka Chikeluba Uzodike, Andrew Ross, Ogbonnaya Harbor
South African Family Practice | VOL 57, NO 3 : May/June| a3940 | DOI: | ©
Submitted: 27 October 2013 | Published: 12 July 2015

About the author(s)

Nnaemeka Chikeluba Uzodike, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Andrew Ross, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Ogbonnaya Harbor, Ngwelezana Hospital, South Africa

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


Background: The decentralization of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to primary health care (PHC) was rolled out in South Africa in March 2010. PHC staff are expected to initiate ART, monitor patients, and detect and refer patients with adverse events or virological failure to designated referral hospitals. The aim of this study was to assess the monitoring and referral of patients on ART who were being managed at a PHC clinic.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, retrospective study on 488 adult patients attending the PHC ART clinic selected by systematic random sampling between June 2011 and June 2012. Data was extracted from patients files using a standardised data collection sheet, based on the South African national HIV guidelines for 2010.

Results: Pill count, CD4 and viral load (VL) were all well assessed by June 2011. Thirty-one per cent of patients being followed up at the clinic had developed virological failure, of whom 84% were referred. By June 2012, 49% of the patients had developed virological failure of whom only 52% were referred for further management.

Conclusion: The PHC nurses are excellent at monitoring pill counts, CD4 levels and VL but were unable to detect and appropriately refer patients with virological failure. This is of great concern, and needs urgent intervention and further research.

(Full text available online at

S Afr Fam Pract 2015; DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2014.976945


Decentralization of ART, PHC ART Initiation, ART Monitoring, HIV guidelines, Nurse initiated management of ART.


Total abstract views: 1138

Reader Comments

Before posting a comment, read our privacy policy.

Comments on this article

Post a comment (login required)

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.