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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Mar 1;35(3):261-8.

The impact of adherence on CD4 cell count responses among HIV-infected patients.

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  • 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There have been concerns that irreversible immune damage may result if highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is initiated after the CD4 cell count declines to below 350 cells/microL; however, the role of antiretroviral adherence on CD4 cell count responses has not been well evaluated.

METHODS:

We evaluated CD4 cell count responses of 1522 antiretroviral-naive patients initiating HAART who were stratified by baseline CD4 cell count (<50, 50-199, and >or=200 cells/microL) and adherence.

RESULTS:

Among patients starting HAART with <50 cells/microL, during the fifth 15-week period after the initiation of HAART, absolute CD4 cell counts were 200 cells/microL (interquartile range [IQR]: 130-290) for adherent patients versus 60 cells/microL (IQR: 10-130) for nonadherent patients. Similarly, among patients starting HAART with 50 to 199 cells/microL, during the fifth 15-week period after the initiation of HAART, absolute CD4 cell counts were 300 cells/microL (IQR: 180-390) versus 125 cells/microL (IQR: 40-210) for nonadherent patients. In Cox regression analyses, adherence was the strongest independent predictor of the time to a gain of >or=50 cells/microL from baseline (relative hazard [RH] = 2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.46-3.37). Among patients with baseline CD4 cell counts <200 cells/microL, adherence was the strongest independent predictor of the time to a CD4 cell count >200 cells/microL (RH = 4.85, 95% CI: 3.15-7.47).

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate that substantial CD4 gains are possible among highly advanced adherent patients and should contribute to the ongoing debate over the optimal time to initiate HAART.

PMID:
15076240
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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