BACKGROUND: In resource constrained settings, immunological assessment through CD4 count is used to assess response to first line Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). In this study, we aim to investigate factors associated with immunological treatment failure.
METHODS: A matched case-control study design was used. Cases were subjects who already experienced immunological treatment failure and controls were those without immunological failure after an exactly or approximately equivalent duration of first line treatment with cases. Data were analyzed using SPSS v16.0. Conditional logistic regression was carried out.
RESULTS: A total of 134 cases and 134 controls were included in the study. At baseline, the mean age ± 1 SD of cases was 37.5 ± 9.7 years whereas it was 36.9 ± 9.2 years among controls. The median baseline CD4 counts of cases and controls were 121.0 cells/µl (IQR: 47-183 cells/µl) and 122.0 cells/µl (IQR: 80.0-189.8 cells/µl), respectively. The median rate of CD4 cells increase was comparable for the two groups in the first six months of commencing HAART (P = 0.442). However, the median rate of CD4 increase was significantly different for the two groups in the next 6 months period (M6 to M12). The rate of increment was 8.8 (IQR: 0.5, 14.6) and 1.8 (IQR: 8.8, 11.3) cells/µl/month for controls and cases, respectively (Mann-Whitney U test, P = 0.003). In conditional logistic regressions grouped baseline CD4 count (P = 0.028), old age group and higher educational status (P<0.001) were significant predictors of immunological treatment failure.
CONCLUSION: Subjects with immunological treatment failure have an optimal rate of immunological recovery in the first 6 months of treatment with first line HAART, but relative to the non-failing group the rate declines at a later period, notably between 6 and 12 months. Low baseline CD4 count, old age and higher educational status were associated with immunological treatment failure.
- Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
- CD4 Lymphocyte Count
- CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology
- Case-Control Studies
- Follow-Up Studies
- HIV Infections/drug therapy
- Multivariate Analysis
- Treatment Outcome