OBJECTIVE: We determined the risk factors and incidence of clinical events associated with suboptimal immune reconstitution (SIR) defined by an increase in CD4 inferior to 50 cells/μL, from inclusion up to six months of antiretroviral treatment (ARVT), in patients with an undetectable viral load (<50 copies/mL).
METHODS: Logistic regression and Cox's proportional hazards model were used to examine risk factors for SIR and the association between SIR and the risk of new clinical events or death, respectively after six months of ARVT.
RESULTS: One hundred and two (15.5%) of the 657 patients presented with SIR. Age > 40 years (aOR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.10-2.75), baseline CD4 ≥ 100 cells/μL (aOR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.24-3.42), ARVT including AZT (aOR = 4.57, 95% CI=1.06-19.76), and the occurrence of a severe opportunistic infection during the first semester of ARVT (aOR = 2.38 95% CI= 1.49-3.80) were associated with SIR. After six months of ARVT and up to seven years of follow-up, 39 patients with SIR had presented with an opportunistic infection or death (rate= 9.78/100 person-years) compared to 168 with a normal recovery (rate = 7.75/100 person-years) but the difference was not statistically significant (aHR = 1.22, 95% CI = 0.85 to 1.74).
CONCLUSION: SIR is less common in our country and is not associated with increased mortality or a greater incidence of opportunistic infections after six months of ARVT.