By the end of March 2006, there were 66 facilities in Malawi in the public health sector delivering ART free of charge to HIV-positive eligible patients. In the first quarter of 2006 (January to March), there were 8,880 new patients started on ART. Up until the end of March 2006, there were 46,702 patients who had ever started on ART. For the quarter and for the cumulative analysis, 39% of patients were male and 61% were female, and 94% were adults (15 years and above) and 6% were children.
Of 46,702 patients who ever started on free ART, their outcomes by end of March 2006 were as follows: 73% were alive and on ART at the site of registration, 11% had died, 9% were lost to follow-up, 7 % had transferred out to another facility (and were presumably alive) and < 1% had stopped treatment.
Of 33,891 patients alive and on ART:- 95% were on the first line regimen, 4% were on an alternative first line regimen and a small number (90) were on a second line regimen. Of those alive and on ART, 98% were ambulatory; 94% were fit to work; 6% had one or more major side effects assessed during the month of March; and 93% of patients showed 95% or more adherence to therapy based on pill counts.
A 6-month survival analysis was performed on 7,905 patients starting free ART from 60 sites between July – September 2005: 79% were alive (72% alive and on ART + 7% transferred out). A 12-month survival analysis was performed on 4,580 patients starting free ART from 35 sites between January – March 2005: 75% were alive (65% alive and on ART + 10% transferred out). An 18-month survival analysis was performed on 3,396 patients starting free ART from 20 sites between July- September 2004: 78% were alive (63% alive and on ART + 15% transferred out).