Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Infect Dis. 2006 Mar 21;6:59.

CD4 cell count recovery among HIV-infected patients with very advanced immunodeficiency commencing antiretroviral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Author information

The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.



Patients accessing antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes in sub-Saharan Africa frequently have very advanced immunodeficiency. Previous data suggest that such patients may have diminished capacity for CD4 cell count recovery.


Rates of CD4 cell increase were determined over 48 weeks among ART-naïve individuals (n = 596) commencing ART in a South African community-based ART programme.


The CD4 cell count increased from a median of 97 cells/microl at baseline to 261 cells/microl at 48 weeks and the proportion of patients with a CD4 cell count < 100 cells/microl decreased from 51% at baseline to just 4% at 48 weeks. A rapid first phase of recovery (0-16 weeks, median rate = 25.5 cells/microl/month) was followed by a slower second phase (16-48 weeks, median rate = 7.7 cells/microl/month). Compared to patients with higher baseline counts, multivariate analysis showed that those with baseline CD4 counts < 50 cells/microl had similar rates of phase 1 CD4 cell recovery (P = 0.42), greater rates of phase 2 recovery (P = 0.007) and a lower risk of immunological non-response (P = 0.016). Among those that achieved a CD4 cell count > 500 cells/microl at 48 weeks, 19% had baseline CD4 cell counts < 50 cells/microl. However, the proportion of these patients that attained a CD4 count 200 cells/microl at 48 weeks was lower than those with higher baseline CD4 cell counts.


Patients in this cohort with baseline CD4 cell counts < 50 cells/microl have equivalent or greater capacity for immunological recovery during 48 weeks of ART compared to those with higher baseline CD4 cell counts. However, their CD4 counts remain < 200 cells/microl for a longer period, potentially increasing their risk of morbidity and mortality in the first year of ART.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center