Weight gain

Export Indicator

Percentage of adults on treatment who gain weight by at least 10% six months after initiation of treatment
What it measures

The indicator measures how many adults with latestage HIV-infection have gained weight as a result of ART.


Among adults, weight loss is one of the most common symptoms in late-stage HIV-infection. Weight loss and gain are easy to measure in any setting, and this type of information is routinely collected during patient follow-up visits. The high prevalence of weight loss among patients in late-stage HIV-infection and the ease of data collection therefore make weight gain a good proxy for successful treatment. This indicator can therefore be used to measure the impact of an ART program.


Number of adults on ART who gained weight by at least 10% at 6 months after initiating treatment.


The total number of adults who initiated treatment at around the same time.

Method of measurement

Patient registers can be used to identify a cohort of patients who initiated treatment at around the same time. At around the same time. can be defined as those patients initiating treatment within 3 weeks of each other. These patients make up the denominator. At their 6 month patient check-up, the patients within this cohort would be weighed and those that are found to have gained 10% of baseline weight would become the numerator.

Measurement frequency

Age group:

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Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

The indicator's strength lies in the ease of data collection as weight monitoring is part of most routine patient check-ups. The largest limitations to this indicator are its assumptions that: (1) patients will be initiated on ART during late-stage HIV-infection and (2) that all adults in late-stage HIV-infection will experience weight loss. As access increases and individuals seek out care at an earlier stage in their infection, a new indicator will need to be developed in order to compensate for the lack of weight loss experiences among asymptomatic, or early-stage HIV-infection.

Further information