Long-term impact of the Kenya postelection crisis on clinic attendance and medication adherence for HIV-infected children in western Kenya

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: Kenya experienced a political and humanitarian crisis after presidential elections on December 27, 2007. We sought to describe both the immediate and long-term impact of this conflict for HIV-infected children in western Kenya.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of a cohort of these children for 3 periods: period 1, before the election (October 26, 2007, to December 25, 2007); period 2, immediately after the election (December 26, 2007, to April 15, 2008); and period 3, long-term postelection (April 16, 2008, to December 31, 2008). Two outcome variables of loss-to-follow-up (LTFU) were assessed: initial LTFU and complete LTFU. We assessed clinic adherence by evaluating the difference between actual visits and expected visits. Among children on antiretroviral therapy (ART), we assessed overall medication adherence and changes in medication adherence.

Results: Two thousand five hundred forty-nine HIV-infected children (3.0% compared with 5.1%, P < 0.01) and less complete LTFU (2.6% compared with 6.8%, P < 0.001) than children not on ART. For children not on ART, clinic adherence improved in period 3 compared with period 2. For children on ART with a more strict measure of clinic adherence, clinic adherence declined over time. Orphans had better clinic adherence than nonorphans. Among children on ART, there were few demographic differences when comparing medication adherence between time.

Conclusions: HIV-infected children are at risk for disruptions in clinic follow-up and medication adherence after a humanitarian crisis. Individual and contextual factors moderate the effects of these disruptions.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes