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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

1
The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. stevelawn@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
16551345
PMCID:
PMC1435908
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2334-6-59
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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