Factors associated with unsuppressed viral load among adolescents on antiretroviral therapy at The AIDS Support Organization, Jinja District
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Introduction: The percentage of unsuppressed viral load among adolescents is higher than the acceptable UNAIDS 10% globally yet the associated factors are poorly understood. Objectives: To determine the factors associated with unsuppressed viral load among adolescents on antiretroviral therapy at The Aids Support Organization clinic, Jinja district. Methodology: A mixed methods design involving clinical records review, ten in-depth and five key informant interviews. A total of 334 adolescents’ 10-19years on ART for at least six months were included in quantitative analysis. Modified Poisson in STATA 14SE and manual thematic analysis for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Results: The prevalence of unsuppressed viral load was 30.8%. Average duration on ART was 4.3 (IQR 3.2-6.7) years. ) and most, n=294 (88%) reported good ART adherence. The factors associated with unsuppressed viral load in this study were; second line treatment (APR 2.11 95% CI 1.36-2.85), good adherence (APR 0.34 95% CI 0.25-0.45 P<0.001), tuberculosis treatment (APR 1.89 95%CI 1.02-3.50 P<0.05) and age, 14-16years (APR 0.66 95%CI 0.46-0.96 P<0.05). Medication and social barriers were identified as major barriers to viral load suppression. Conclusion: The prevalence of unsuppressed viral load was found to be higher than the acceptable UNAIDS 10%. Viral load monitoring and adherence counselling for adolescents on second line treatment and tuberculosis treatment should be prioritized.