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Integrated multi-month dispensing of antihypertensive and antiretroviral therapy to sustain hypertension and HIV control

Kimera ID, Namugenyi C, Schwartz JI, Musimbaggo DJ, Ssenyonjo R, Atukunda P, Mutungi G, Mugabe F, Ambangira F, Mbuliro M, Katwesigye R, Neupane D, et al
Journal of Human Hypertension

Multi-month dispensing (MMD) is a patient-centered approach in which stable patients receive medicine refills of three months or more. In this pre-post longitudinal study, we determined hypertension and HIV treatment outcomes in a cohort of hypertensive PLHIV at baseline and 12 months of receiving integrated MMD. At each clinical encounter, one healthcare provider attended to both hypertension and HIV needs of each patient in an HIV clinic. Among the 1,082 patients who received MMD, the mean age was 51 (SD = 9) years and 677 (63%) were female. At the start of MMD, 1,071(98.9%) patients had achieved HIV viral suppression, and 767 (73.5%) had achieved hypertension control. Mean blood pressure reduced from 135/87 (SD = 15.6/15.2) mmHg at the start of MMD to 132/86 (SD = 15.2/10.5) mmHg at 12 months (p < 0.0001). Hypertension control improved from 73.5% to 78.5% (p = 0.01) without a significant difference in the proportion of patients with HIV viral suppression at baseline and at 12 months, 98.9% vs 99.0% (p = 0.65). Patients who received MMD with elevated systolic blood pressure at baseline were less likely to have controlled blood pressure at 12 months (OR-0.9, 95% CI, 0.90,0.92). Overall, 1,043 (96.4%) patients were retained at 12 months. Integrated MMD for stable hypertensive PLHIV improved hypertension control and sustained optimal HIV viral suppression and retention of patients in care. Therefore, it is feasible to provide integrated MMD for both hypertension and HIV treatment and achieve dual control in the setting of sub-Saharan Africa.