Following the initiation of therapy, a patient is seen regularly
at 1 month, and then every three months by his/her physician at the accredited
center to assess response to therapy. Blood samples are drawn and sent to Projet
RETRO-CI's laboratory for serum chemistry, hematology, CD4 counts and other
immunological markers, and viral load testing. The clinician may modify the ARV
regimen according to these results, if necessary.
The following procedures have been implemented to facilitate the
transfer of forms and specimens between the six participating centers and Projet
RETRO-CI. Each patient entering the initiative has a personal identification
number. Data from the questionnaires are entered into one database; names and
personal identifiers are entered into a separate database; access to this latter
database is strictly limited to two persons.
Thereafter, any additional questionnaires and specimens
collected will be identified by the personal identification number and not by
any other personal identifier. Each time that a questionnaire is administered,
taken to Projet RETRO-CI, and entered into the database, a copy is sent to the
attending physician for the patient's hospital record.
The staging process used in this Initiative distinguishes three
1) patients who want to access this
2) patients who return after the eligibility screening to find
out the result of their request, and
3) patients who have been successful in
obtaining ARV therapy.
In order to evaluate this program, information from patients
belonging to these three different populations was collected since August 1998.
All this information has been centralized at Projet RETRO-CI and monthly reports
have been generated. These reports are discussed during regular meetings with
representatives of the different centers involved in this