To assess the adherence, immunologic and survival responses in HIV-infected patients receiving free antiretroviral therapy (ART).
All adult HIV-infected patients in Wenxi county who started antiretroviral treatment (ART) between 01 July 2001 and 31 December 2006 and aged above 18 years were included in this study. Epidemiological survey and laboratory tests were performed before, 0.5 months after, 1 months after, 2 months after and every 3 months after initiation of ART to recognize the adherence, efficacy (CD(4)(+) T cell counts) and survival to the regimens.
The median follow-up time period was 16.5 months (Interquartile: 15.5 - 20.8 months). At baseline, the median of CD(4)(+) T cell counts were 154 cells/microl (Interquartile: 81 - 212 cells/microl). Treatment was effective in most of the patients, the CD(4)(+) T cell count of patients increased after the initiation of ART. The maximum increase was recorded at month 3, from the median of 154 cells/microl to 220 cells/microl (P < 0.001), and thereafter the count remained stable. When comparing with patients with baseline CD(4)(+) T cell count > or = 100 cells/microl, those with baseline CD(4)(+) T cell count < 100 cells/microl showed a higher mean increase in the first three months of treatment. The cumulative probability rates of remaining alive were 0.94, 0.88 and 0.87 at 3, 12, 24 months, respectively. In multivariate Cox's proportional hazard models, after adjustment for the type ofinitial regimens (NVP vs. EFV/IDV), CD(+)(4) T cell count of less than 50 cells/microl (vs. 50 cells/microl or more) was strongly associated with death hazard ratio 0.21 (95%CI: 0.06 - 0.68).
Our data showed that ART was effective for improving immunologic response of adult patients with HIV/AIDS. CD(4)(+) T cell count at initiation was associated with survival time in patients starting ART, suggesting that monitoring of CD(4)(+) T count should be strengthened to early initiate antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected patients.
Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi = Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi 01/2009; 29(12):1176-80.