Virological suppression and its predictors among HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopia: Systematic review and meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: Achieving viral load suppression is crucial for the prevention of complications and deaths related to HIV infection. Ethiopia has embraced the worldwide 95-95-95 target, but there is no national representative information regarding virological suppression. Therefore, this review aims to determine the pooled virological suppression rate and identify the pooled effect of contributing factors of viral suppression for HIV-positive patients on antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopia. METHODS: We systematically searched websites and databases, including online repositories, to obtain primary studies. Two reviewers assessed the quality of the included articles using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale appraisal checklist. Publication bias was checked using Egger’s regression test, the heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using I(2) statistics and Q statistics, and a sensitivity analysis was performed to identify any outlier results in the included studies. The Der Simonian Laird random-effects model was used to estimate the overall proportion of viral suppression, and STATA 17 statistical software was used for all types of analysis. RESULTS: A total of 21 eligible articles primarily conducted in Ethiopia using HIV program data were used for this quantitative synthesis. The overall pooled virological suppression rate was 71% (95% CI, 64%–77%). The pooled effects of poor adherence to ART (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.33; 95% CI, 0.28–0.40), body mass index (18.5–24.9 kg/m2; AOR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.37–2.36), disclosure (AOR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.05–1.89), absence of opportunistic infection (AOR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.43–1.97), and high baseline viral load count (AOR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.52–0.81) were identified as significant predictors of viral suppression. CONCLUSIONS: The overall pooled percentage of virological suppression was low compared with the global target of viral suppression and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute report. Poor adherence, normal body mass index, disclosure, absence of opportunistic infection, and high baseline viral load count were factors contributing to viral suppression in Ethiopia. Responsible stakeholders should maximize their efforts to achieve the global target of virological suppression by addressing significant predictors.


Melak D, Bayou FD, Yasin H, Zerga AA, Wagaye B, Ayele FY, Kebede N, Mekonen AM, Asfaw AH, Tsegaw SA, Mihiretu MM, Tsega Y, Addisu E, Cherie N, Birhane T, Abegaz Z, Endawkie A, Mohammed A




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment


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