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AIDS. 2004 Nov 5;18(16):2145-51.

Late presenters in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy: uptake of and responses to antiretroviral therapy.

Author information

  • 1Royal Free and University College Medical School, Royal Free NHS Trust, London, UK. c.sabin@pcps.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the characteristics and clinical, immunological and virological outcomes for individuals presenting for care with low CD4 cell counts.

METHODS:

Individuals aged > 16 years presenting for care for the first time were identified between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2002. Late presenters were those with CD4 cell count < 50 x 10(6) cells/l. Follow-up was until last contact, death or 31 December 2002.

RESULTS:

Late presenters formed 15.3% (110) of the group; they were more likely to be female (35% versus 24%), heterosexual (53% versus 38%), and of Black-African ethnicity (39% versus 27%) than other individuals. Over a median follow-up of 2.5 years, 13% of late presenters died. Ninety-nine patients started antiretroviral treatment; Of the 11 patients who did not start antiretroviral treatment, eight died within 3 months of presentation. Among those starting treatment, 87 (87.9%) achieved a viral load < 400 copies/ml and median CD4 cell counts increased from 43 x 10(6) cells/l at 0-2 months after presentation to 204 x 10(6) cells/l at 1 year. Over the first year, 71 patients attended at least one outpatient visit (median, 4.5; range, 0-39), 21 attended at least one day case visit (median, 0; range, 0-15) and 49 were admitted as an inpatient (median, 0; range, 0-4).

CONCLUSIONS:

Those presenting for care with very low CD4 cell counts may make large demands on clinical resources, particularly over the first few months. While some patients do have a poor outcome on highly active antiretroviral therapy, many will benefit from this therapy and will experience good immunological and virological responses.

PMID:
15577647
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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