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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Aug 15;33(4):466-72. Epub 2001 Jul 11.

Initial virological and immunologic response to highly active antiretroviral therapy predicts long-term clinical outcome.

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Department of Biostatistics, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Little is known about the long-term clinical outcomes for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients who have received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Determining factors associated with long-term clinical outcomes early in the course of treatment may allow modifications to be made for patients who are at a greater risk of treatment failure. To evaluate these factors, we studied 213 HIV-infected patients who had received HAART for at least 115 weeks. In the univariate analysis, virological response, which was measured as the change in virus load from baseline at month 3 of treatment, was the single best predictor of clinical outcome (relative hazard, 0.722; P=.001), independent of virological suppression. In the multivariate analysis, virological response and immunologic response, which was measured as an increase in CD4 cell count of >200 cells/mm(3), resulted in better prediction of clinical outcomes than did use of either variable alone (P=.02). Our results indicate that changes in virus load and immunologic response together are good predictors of clinical outcome and can be assessed after the initiation of HAART, which would allow clinicians to identify patients early in the course of therapy who are at greater risk of negative outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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