Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Dec 15;49(12):1915-27. doi: 10.1086/648079.

Effectiveness of pediatric antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1The Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



Responses to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children in resource-limited settings have recently been reported, but outcomes vary. We sought to derive pooled estimates of the 12-month rate of virologic suppression (HIV RNA, <400 copies/mL) and gain in CD4 cell percentage (DeltaCD4%) for children initiating ART in resource-limited settings.


We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published reports of HIV RNA and CD4 outcomes for treatment-naive children aged 0-17 years old by means of the Medline, EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database), and LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature) electronic databases and the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register. Pooled estimates of the reported proportion with HIV RNA <400 copies/mL and DeltaCD4% after 12 months of ART were derived using patient-level estimates and fixed- and random-effects models. To approximate intention-to-treat analyses, in sensitivity analyses children with missing 12-month data were assumed to have HIV RNA>400 copies/mL or DeltaCD4% of zero.


In patient-level estimates after 12 months of ART, the pooled proportion with virologic suppression was 70% (95% confidence interval [CI], 67%-73%); the pooled DeltaCD4% was 13.7% (95% CI, 11.8%-15.7%). Results from the fixed- and random-effects models were similar. In approximated intention-to-treat analyses, the pooled estimates decreased to 53% with virologic suppression (95% CI, 50%-55%) and to a DeltaCD4% of 8.5% (95% CI, 5.5%-11.4%).


Pooled estimates of reported virologic and immunologic benefits after 12 months of ART among HIV-infected children in resource-limited settings are comparable with those observed among children in developed settings. Consistency in reporting on reasons for missing data will aid in the evaluation of ART outcomes in resource-limited settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk