Prevalence and factors associated with missed clinic appointments among young people living with HIV/AIDS attending ART Clinic in Gombe Hospital, Butambala District
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Background: Missed clinic appointments among young people living with HIV/AIDS have continued to be a global public health challenge including Uganda. Any missed ART clinic appointments have significant health consequences and patients need not to miss appointments for ART as it puts them at the center of management since it contributes to the high mortality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and factors associated with missed appointments among young people living with HIV attending ART Clinic in Gombe Hospital, Butambala district. Methodology: The study employed a cross-sectional design using consecutive sampling technique. The study population comprised of young PLHIV on ART and aged 12-24 years. The data collection tools included a semi-structured questionnaire composed of closed ended questions designed for the study based on relevant literature. An interviewer administered questionnaire consisting of five sections was used to collect data. The sections were; Sociodemographic, socio cognitive, behavioural factors, psychological factors and other factors. Standard assessment tools were used in this study. Results: Results: One hundred and fifty-six participants were interviewed. The mean age of the participants was 19.8 years (SD 3.12). All the 156 participants expected to be involved in the study participated, which represents 100% response rate. More than half of the participants were female 62.2 % (n = 97). Majority of the participants 53.2% (n = 83) had not disclosed their HIV status. A majority of participants 76.3% (n = 119) had missed 2 or more HIV clinic appointments in the past year, 14.1% (n=22) had missed only one appointment and only 9.6 % (n= 15) had never missed an appointment. There were no factors statistically associated with missed clinic appointments Conclusion: : Prevalence of missed appointments was high at 76.3% among young people living with HIV attending ART clinic in Gombe Hospital. Therefore, this is a need to for routine counselling to emphasize the importance of keeping ART clinic appointments.. Some of the mechanisms that may address this challenge include setting up peer led support clubs among young people. Key words: Missed appointments, young people, HIV, Uganda.