AIDS-Defining Illnesses: A Comparison Between Before and After Commencement of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)

Ai Lian, Yvonne Lim; Lim Heng, Benedict Sim; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot; Lee, Christopher
September 2007
Current HIV Research;Sep2007, Vol. 5 Issue 5, p484
Academic Journal
Attempts to address the significant impact of HAART on medical variables on the Malaysian HIV/AIDS population have yet to be evaluated. This study aims to analyze the proportions of AIDS-defining illnesses (ADIs) before and after HAART. A retrospective study was carried out on 128 new cases of HIV infected patients who first commenced HAART in 2004 at the national HIV reference center. Before commencement of HAART, 76 clinical episodes of ADIs were recorded in 52 patients. Most common being pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis (28.9%), PCP (27.6%) and disseminated and extrapulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis (11.8%). During HAART, 8 clinical episodes of ADIs were documented in 7 patients with a median time of onset of 10 weeks after initiation of HAART (range, 4-36 weeks). The median CD4 count at the time of the commencement of HAART for these patients was 11 cells/mm3. ADIs reported include PCP (2 episodes), disseminated and extrapulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis (2 episodes), extrapulmonary cryptococcosis (1 episode), esophageal candidiasis (1 episode), recurrent pneumonia (1 episode) and disseminated or extrapulmonary histoplasmosis (1 episode). Three (37.5%) of these occurred despite a reduction of viral load by at least 2 log10 and an increased in the CD4 cell count. In conclusion, ADIs can still present after the initiation of successful HAART especially in those with CD4 counts below 100 cells/mm3. In Malaysia, ADIs are the major causes of HIV/AIDS associated morbidity and mortality, thus increased awareness on the management of these illnesses is warranted especially in the months following HAART.


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