Profiles of HIV Care Disruptions Among Adult Patients Lost to Follow-up in Zambia: A Latent Class Analysis

Aaloke Mody, Kombatende Sikombe, Laura K. Beres, Sandra Simbeza, Njekwa Mukamba, Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Sheree Schwartz, Jake Pry, Nancy Padian, Charles B. Holmes, Carolyn Bolton-Moore, Izukanji Sikazwe, Elvin H. Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background:Patients report varied barriers to HIV care across multiple domains, but specific barrier patterns may be driven by underlying, but unobserved, behavioral profiles.Methods:We traced a probability sample of patients lost to follow-up (>90 days late) as of July 31, 2015 from 64 clinics in Zambia. Among those found alive, we ascertained patient-reported reasons for care disruptions. We performed latent class analysis to identify patient subgroups with similar patterns of reasons reported and assessed the association between class membership and care status (ie, disengaged versus silently transferred to a new site).Results:Among 547 patients, we identified 5 profiles of care disruptions: (1) "Livelihood and Mobility"(30.6% of the population) reported work/school obligations and mobility/travel as reasons for care disruptions; (2) "Clinic Accessibility"(28.9%) reported challenges with attending clinic; (3) "Mobility and Family"(21.9%) reported family obligations, mobility/travel, and transport-related reasons; (4) "Doubting Need for HIV care"(10.2%) reported uncertainty around HIV status or need for clinical care, and (5) "Multidimensional Barriers to Care"(8.3%) reported numerous (mean 5.6) reasons across multiple domains. Patient profiles were significantly associated with care status. The "Doubting Need for HIV Care"class were mostly disengaged (97.9%), followed by the "Multidimensional Barriers to Care"(62.8%), "Clinic Accessibility"(62.4%), "Livelihood and Mobility"(43.6%), and "Mobility and Family"(23.5%) classes.Conclusion:There are distinct HIV care disruption profiles that are strongly associated with patients' current engagement status. Interventions targeting these unique profiles may enable more effective and tailored strategies for improving HIV treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • barriers to care
  • disengagement
  • latent class analysis
  • loss to follow-up
  • phenotypes
  • retention in care
  • transfer


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