[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
This study aimed to determine the number of people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 2006 and 2013 in Germany by using the available numbers of antiretroviral drug prescriptions and treatment data from the ClinSurv HIV cohort (CSH).
The CSH is a multi-centre, open, long-term observational cohort study with an average number of 10.400 patients in the study period 2006-2013. ART has been documented on average for 86% of those CSH patients and medication history is well documented in the CSH.
The proportion of CSH patients receiving TCMs increased continuously over time (from 85% to 93%; 2006-2013). In contrast, treatment interruptions declined remarkably (from 11% to 2%; 2006-2013). The total number of HIV-infected people with ART experience in Germany increased from 31,500 (95% CI 31,000-32,000) individuals to 54,000 (95% CI 53,000-55,500) over the observation period (including 16.3% without SHI and persons who had interrupted ART). An average increase of approximately 2,900 persons receiving ART was observed annually in Germany.
A substantial increase in the number of people receiving ART was observed from 2006 to 2013 in Germany.
BMC Public Health 03/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1598-4 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major health issue for HIV-positive individuals, associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Development and implementation of a risk score model for CKD would allow comparison of the risks and benefits of adding potentially nephrotoxic antiretrovirals to a treatment regimen and would identify those at greatest risk of CKD. The aims of this study were to develop a simple, externally validated, and widely applicable long-term risk score model for CKD in HIV-positive individuals that can guide decision making in clinical practice.
A total of 17,954 HIV-positive individuals from the Data Collection on Adverse Events of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) study with ≥3 estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values after 1 January 2004 were included. Baseline was defined as the first eGFR > 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 after 1 January 2004; individuals with exposure to tenofovir, atazanavir, atazanavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, other boosted protease inhibitors before baseline were excluded. CKD was defined as confirmed (>3 mo apart) eGFR ≤ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Poisson regression was used to develop a risk score, externally validated on two independent cohorts. In the D:A:D study, 641 individuals developed CKD during 103,185 person-years of follow-up (PYFU; incidence 6.2/1,000 PYFU, 95% CI 5.7-6.7; median follow-up 6.1 y, range 0.3-9.1 y). Older age, intravenous drug use, hepatitis C coinfection, lower baseline eGFR, female gender, lower CD4 count nadir, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) predicted CKD. The adjusted incidence rate ratios of these nine categorical variables were scaled and summed to create the risk score. The median risk score at baseline was -2 (interquartile range -4 to 2). There was a 1:393 chance of developing CKD in the next 5 y in the low risk group (risk score < 0, 33 events), rising to 1:47 and 1:6 in the medium (risk score 0-4, 103 events) and high risk groups (risk score ≥ 5, 505 events), respectively. Number needed to harm (NNTH) at 5 y when starting unboosted atazanavir or lopinavir/ritonavir among those with a low risk score was 1,702 (95% CI 1,166-3,367); NNTH was 202 (95% CI 159-278) and 21 (95% CI 19-23), respectively, for those with a medium and high risk score. NNTH was 739 (95% CI 506-1462), 88 (95% CI 69-121), and 9 (95% CI 8-10) for those with a low, medium, and high risk score, respectively, starting tenofovir, atazanavir/ritonavir, or another boosted protease inhibitor. The Royal Free Hospital Clinic Cohort included 2,548 individuals, of whom 94 individuals developed CKD (3.7%) during 18,376 PYFU (median follow-up 7.4 y, range 0.3-12.7 y). Of 2,013 individuals included from the SMART/ESPRIT control arms, 32 individuals developed CKD (1.6%) during 8,452 PYFU (median follow-up 4.1 y, range 0.6-8.1 y). External validation showed that the risk score predicted well in these cohorts. Limitations of this study included limited data on race and no information on proteinuria.
Both traditional and HIV-related risk factors were predictive of CKD. These factors were used to develop a risk score for CKD in HIV infection, externally validated, that has direct clinical relevance for patients and clinicians to weigh the benefits of certain antiretrovirals against the risk of CKD and to identify those at greatest risk of CKD.
PLoS Medicine 03/2015; 12(3):e1001809. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001809 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Little is known about the well-being on long-term exposure to antiretroviral therapy. The ACTG Augmented Symptoms Distress Module (ASDM) is a validated tool which measures the presence of a total of 22 symptoms seen with HIV and quantifies the extent to which they cause distress to the patient.
ELBE was a cross-sectional study that consecutively included adult HIV-infected patients presenting with viral suppression (<50 HIV RNA copies/mL) and ART exposure for at least five years. Patients were evaluated by four different questionnaires, including ASDM.
Of a total of 894 patients included in the three participating ELBE centres, complete data on ASDM were available for 698 patients (626 male, 69 female, 3 transsexual). Median age was 49.7 years (range, 23.3–82.5 years) and median exposure to ART was 11.5 years (range, 5–28 years). Median CD4 T-cell counts had increased from a CD4 nadir of 180 to currently 640 cells/µL. Despite immunological and virological success, a high degree of symptom-related distress was noted in this patient population. In total, 63.8% and 36.3% of the patients had at least one “bothersome” or one “very bothersome” symptom, respectively. The symptoms most frequently reported to be “bothersome” or “very bothersome” were fatigue and energy loss (18.5% and 11.0% respectively), insomnia (12.8% and 11.6%), sadness and depression (13.0% and 10.0%), sexual dysfunction (12.0% and 10.0%), and changes in body appearance (11.0% and 10.9%). There was no association between the degree of symptom-related distress and gender, age or CD4 T-cell nadir. However, the history of AIDS-defining illnesses, comorbidities such as depression but also the duration of ART were significantly associated with a higher overall symptom summary score and with a higher frequency of symptoms. For example, in patients with at least 15 years of ART exposure, only 27.3% of the patients did not report at least one “bothersome” or “very bothersome” symptom.
In this large group of positively selected HIV+ patients with virological success and long-term exposure to ART, a high degree of symptom-related distress was found. Medical care of HIV-infected patients should not only focus on optimal virological outcome. More data on quality of life in patients with long-term exposure to ART is needed.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 11/2014; 17(4(Suppl 3)):19673. DOI:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19673 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Data on patients with long-term exposure to ART is scarce because controlled studies usually do not follow up patients for more than five to seven years. We were interested whether baseline parameters such as CD4 T-cell nadir or pre-treatment viraemia do have an impact on ART success after more than a decade of treatment.
ELBE is a cross-sectional study on adult HIV+ patients presenting consecutively with viral suppression (<50 HIV RNA copies/mL) and with ART exposure of at least five years. In this sub-analysis, all patients with more than 10 years of ART exposure were evaluated for immune reconstitution and for intermittent transient viraemia (50–1000 copies/mL, defined as “blips”) during the last five years.
From a total of 894 patients included in the three participating ELBE centres, 524 patients had an ART exposure of at least 10 years and had been treated continuously during the last 5 years. Of these, 33.4% had at least one “blip” while 63.5% did not show any transient viraemia of more than 50 copies/mL. Patients with at least one blip had a higher pre-treatment viraemia compared to patients without blips (5.30 versus 5.06 log copies/mL, p=0.0003). In patients with a pre-treatment viraemia of more than 100,000, 50,000–100,000 and less than 50,000 copies/mL, the proportions of patients with blips during the last five years were 39.5%, 30.5% and 21.8% (p=0.007), respectively. The history of an AIDS-defining illness or the CD4 T-cell nadir was not associated with a higher frequency of blips. However, CD4 T-cell nadir was a strong predictor for current CD4 T-cell counts. In patient groups with a CD4 T-cell nadir of 0–99, 100–199, 200–349, 350+ cells/µL, the median current CD4 T cells were 571, 667, 710 and 890 cells/µL, respectively. These differences remained significant when the analysis was restricted to patients with more than 15 years of ART exposure (n=268).
In this large group of positively selected HIV+ patients with long-term exposure to ART of at least 10–15 years, high pre-treatment viraemia was still associated with a higher frequency of intermittent transient viraemia (“blip”). A low CD4 T-cell nadir remained associated with a lower CD4 cell recovery. The clinical implications of these findings remain to be evaluated.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 11/2014; 17(4(Suppl 3)):19689. DOI:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19689 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Present combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) alone does not cure HIV infection and requires lifelong drug treatment. The potential role of HIV therapeutic vaccines as part of an HIV cure is under consideration. Our aim was to assess the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of Vacc-4x, a peptide-based HIV-1 therapeutic vaccine targeting conserved domains on p24(Gag), in adults infected with HIV-1.
Between July, 2008, and June, 2010, we did a multinational double-blind, randomised, phase 2 study comparing Vacc-4x with placebo. Participants were adults infected with HIV-1 who were aged 18-55 years and virologically suppressed on cART (viral load <50 copies per mL) with CD4 cell counts of 400 × 10(6) cells per L or greater. The trial was done at 18 sites in Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to Vacc-4x or placebo. Group allocation was masked from participants and investigators. Four primary immunisations, weekly for 4 weeks, containing Vacc-4x (or placebo) were given intradermally after administration of adjuvant. Booster immunisations were given at weeks 16 and 18. At week 28, cART was interrupted for up to 24 weeks. The coprimary endpoints were cART resumption and changes in CD4 counts during treatment interruption. Analyses were by modified intention to treat: all participants who received one intervention. Furthermore, safety, viral load, and immunogenicity (as measured by ELISPOT and proliferation assays) were assessed. The 52 week follow-up period was completed in June, 2011. For the coprimary endpoints the proportion of participants who met the criteria for cART resumption was analysed with a logistic regression model with the treatment effect being assessed in a model including country as a covariate. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00659789.
174 individuals were screened; because of slow recruitment, enrolment stopped with 136 of a planned 345 participants and 93 were randomly assigned to receive Vacc-4x and 43 to receive placebo. There were no differences between the two groups for the primary efficacy endpoints in those participants who stopped cART at week 28. Of the participants who resumed cART, 30 (34%) were in the Vacc-4x group and 11 (29%) in the placebo group, and percentage changes in CD4 counts were not significant (mean treatment difference -5·71, 95% CI -13·01 to 1·59). However, a significant difference in viral load was noted for the Vacc-4x group both at week 48 (median 23 100 copies per mL Vacc-4x vs 71 800 copies per mL placebo; p=0·025) and week 52 (median 19 550 copies per mL vs 51 000 copies per mL; p=0·041). One serious adverse event, exacerbation of multiple sclerosis, was reported as possibly related to study treatment. Vacc-4x was immunogenic, inducing proliferative responses in both CD4 and CD8 T-cell populations.
The proportion of participants resuming cART before end of study and change in CD4 counts during the treatment interruption showed no benefit of vaccination. Vacc-4x was safe, well tolerated, immunogenic, seemed to contribute to a viral-load setpoint reduction after cART interruption, and might be worth consideration in future HIV-cure investigative strategies.
Norwegian Research Council GLOBVAC Program and Bionor Pharma ASA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) vaccine candidate F4/AS01 has previously been shown to induce potent and persistent polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cell responses in HIV-1-seronegative volunteers. This placebo-controlled study evaluated two doses of F4/AS01 1-month apart in antiretroviral treatment (ART)-experienced and ART-naïve HIV-1-infected subjects (1:1 randomisation in each cohort). Safety, HIV-1-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses, absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts and HIV-1 viral load were monitored for 12 months post-vaccination. Reactogenicity was clinically acceptable and no vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. The frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells 2 weeks post-dose 2 was significantly higher in the vaccine group than in the placebo group in both cohorts (p<0.05). Vaccine-induced HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells exhibited a polyfunctional phenotype, expressing at least CD40L and IL-2. No increase in HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cells or change in CD8(+) T-cell activation marker expression profile was detected. Absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts were variable over time in both cohorts. Viral load remained suppressed in ART-experienced subjects. In ART-naïve subjects, a transient reduction in viral load from baseline was observed 2 weeks after the second F4/AS01 dose, which was concurrent with a higher frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells expressing at least IL-2 in this cohort. In conclusion, F4/AS01 showed a clinically acceptable reactogenicity and safety profile, and induced polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses in ART-experienced and ART-naïve subjects. These findings support further clinical investigation of F4/AS01 as a potential HIV-1 vaccine for therapeutic use in individuals with HIV-1 infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV infection is a risk factor for the development of Herpes zoster (HZ) and its complications. Prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HZ incidence in HIV-infected individuals ranged from 2.9--5.1/100 person-years. There is limited evidence for the impact of ART on HZ occurrence among HIV-infected adults. We analysed the incidence of, and risk factors for, HZ in a large cohort of German HIV-positive patients.
The study population was taken from the German KompNet cohort, a nationwide multicenter HIV cohort study. The study population was defined by age (>= 18 years), year of first positive HIV diagnosis, CD4 values +/- 6 months from HIV diagnosis (tau0), and month of HZ diagnosis. Incidences were estimated using a Poisson distribution, and uni- and multivariate Cox proportional Hazard ratio (HR) regression models were fitted to identify risk factors for developing an initial HZ episode. Independent variables were sex, age at HIV diagnosis, route of HIV transmission, ART status, CD4 count before HZ episode, immunosuppressive medication, and mode of data documentation (retrospective or prospective).
HZ incidence in the overall study population was 1.2/100 person-years. In a subset of patients for that we were able to examine risk factors the following was observed: We examined 3,757 individuals whose mean age at t0 was 38 years. Of those individuals, 96% were diagnosed with HIV in 1996 or later, with a mean observation time of 5.8 years. HZ episodes (n = 362) were recorded in 326 patients (8.7%), resulting in annual HZ incidences of 1.7/100 person-years overall, and 1.6/100 person-years for initial HZ cases. The main risk factors associated with an initial HZ episode were: not partaking in ART compared with an ART regimen containing a non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (HR 0.530, p < 0.001) or a protease inhibitor (HR 0.624, p = 0.004); and lower CD4 count by 100 cells/mul (HR 0.918, p=0.001).
HZ incidence was 4-11-fold higher than in non HIV-infected individuals, but in our study HZ incidences were lower than in previous studies. We showed that ART is an important protective factor for HZ episodes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:
To investigate the mechanisms of platelet kinetics in the Strategies for Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (SMART) study that demonstrated excess mortality with CD4 guided episodic antiretroviral therapy (ART) drug conservation compared with continuous treatment viral suppression. Follow-up analyses of stored plasma samples demonstrated increased activation of both inflammatory and coagulation pathways after stopping ART.
SMART patients from sites that determined platelets routinely.
Platelet counts were retrospectively collected from 2206 patients from visits at study entry, and during follow-up. D-dimer levels were measured at study entry, month 1, and 2.
Platelet levels decreased in the drug conservation group following randomization, but remained stable in the viral suppression group [median (IQR) decline from study entry to month 4: -24 000/μl (-54 000 to 4000) vs. 3000 (-22 000 to 24 000), respectively, P < 0.0001)] and the rate of developing thrombocytopenia (<100 000/μl) was significantly higher in the drug conservation vs. the viral suppression arm (unadjusted drug conservation/viral suppression [HR (95%CI) = 1.8 (1.2-2.7)]. The decline in platelet count among drug conservation participants on fully suppressive ART correlated with the rise in D-dimer from study entry to either month 1 or 2 (r = -0.41; P = 0.02). Among drug conservation participants who resumed ART 74% recovered to their study entry platelet levels.
Interrupting ART increases the risk of thrombocytopenia, but reinitiation of ART typically reverses it. Factors contributing to declines in platelets after interrupting ART may include activation of coagulation pathways or HIV-1 replication itself. The contribution of platelets in HIV-related procoagulant activity requires further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Once-daily (qd) antiretroviral therapies improve convenience and adherence. If found to be effective, nevirapine extended release (NVP XR) will confer this benefit. The TRANxITION trial examined the efficacy and safety of switching virologically suppressed patients from NVP immediate release (NVP IR) 200 mg twice daily to NVP XR 400 mg qd.
An open-label, parallel-group, noninferiority, randomized (2:1 NVP XR:NVP IR) study was performed. Adult HIV-1-infected patients receiving NVP IR plus a fixed-dose nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) combination of lamivudine (3TC)/abacavir (ABC), tenofovir (TDF)/emtricitabine (FTC) or 3TC/zidovudine (ZDV) with undetectable viral load (VL) were enrolled in the study. The primary endpoint was continued virological suppression with VL < 50 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL up to week 24 (calculated using a time to loss of virological response algorithm). Cochran's statistic (background regimen adjusted) was used to test noninferiority. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded.
Among 443 randomized patients, continued virological suppression was observed in 93.6% (276 of 295) of NVP XR- and 92.6% (137 of 148) of NVP IR-treated patients, an observed difference of 1% [95% confidence interval (CI) -4.3, 6.0] at 24 weeks of follow-up. Noninferiority (adjusted margin of -10%) of NVP XR to NVP IR was robust and further supported by SNAPSHOT analysis. Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS) grade 3 and 4 events were similar for the NVP XR and NVP IR groups (3.7 vs. 4.1%, respectively), although overall AEs were higher in the NVP XR group (75.6 vs. 60.1% for the NVP-IR group).
NVP XR administered once daily resulted in continued virological suppression at week 24 that was noninferior to that provided by NVP IR, with similar rates of moderate and severe AEs. The higher frequency of overall AEs with NVP XR may be a consequence of the open-label design.
HIV Medicine 12/2011; 13(4):236-44. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-1293.2011.00969.x · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND/AIM OF THE STUDY: The study aimed to determine the cost impacts of antiretroviral drugs by analysing a long-term follow-up of direct costs for combined antiretroviral therapy, cART, -regimens in the nationwide long-term observational multi-centre German HIV ClinSurv Cohort. The second aim was to develop potential cost saving strategies by modelling different treatment scenarios.
Antiretroviral regimens (ART) from 10,190 HIV-infected patients from 11 participating ClinSurv study centres have been investigated since 1996. Biannual data cART-initiation, cART-changes, surrogate markers, clinical events and the Centre of Disease Control- (CDC)-stage of HIV disease are reported. Treatment duration was calculated on a daily basis via the documented dates for the beginning and end of each antiretroviral drug treatment. Prices were calculated for each individual regimen based on actual office sales prices of the branded pharmaceuticals distributed by the license holder including German taxes.
During the 13-year follow-up period, 21,387,427 treatment days were covered. Cumulative direct costs for antiretroviral drugs of €812,877,356 were determined according to an average of €42.08 per day (€7.52 to € 217.70). Since cART is widely used in Germany, the costs for an entire regimen increased by 13.5%. Regimens are more expensive in the advanced stages of HIV disease. The potential for cost savings was calculated using non-nucleotide-reverse-transcriptase-inhibitor, NNRTI, more frequently instead of ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor, PI/r, in first line therapy. This calculation revealed cumulative savings of 10.9% to 19.8% of daily treatment costs (50% and 90% substitution of PI/r, respectively). Substituting certain branded drugs by generic drugs showed potential cost savings of between 1.6% and 31.8%.
Analysis of the data of this nationwide study reflects disease-specific health services research and will give insights into the cost impacts of antiretroviral therapy, and might allow a more rational allocation of resources within the German health care system.
PLoS ONE 09/2011; 6(9):e23946. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0023946 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nevirapine (NVP) is a widely used non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. A once-daily extended-release (XR) formulation would potentially increase adherence and thus efficacy.
The aim of this study was to investigate the steady-state bioavailability of 2 once-daily tablet formulations of NVP XR (containing 25% or 20% hypromellose; NVP XR25 and NVP XR20, respectively) in 400- or 300-mg tablets compared with twice-daily immediate-release (IR) NVP 200-mg tablets.
This Phase Ib multinational, multicenter, open-label trial was conducted in patients aged 18 to 60 years, infected with HIV-1 (viral load, ≤50 copies/mL), and treated for ≥12 weeks with twice-daily NVP IR 200 mg. Patients were switched to NVP XR25 400 or 300 mg or NVP XR20 400 or 300 mg for 19 days. Plasma samples were collected over 24-hour periods at steady state. Primary end points were AUC(0-24,ss), C(max,ss), and C(min,ss), analyzed using an ANOVA statistical model on the logarithmic scale and 2-sided 90% CI. Sample size was determined assuming an intrasubject %CV of 20% for C(max). Adverse events (AEs) and viral loads were monitored.
Ninety-two patients were enrolled (NVP XR25 400 mg, 24 patients; NVP XR20 400 mg, 24; NVP XR25 300 mg, 21; NVP XR20 300 mg, 23). Compared with NVP IR, the AUC(0-24,ss) values of the NVP XR formulations were lower (test/reference ratios: 79.5% [90% CI, 73.0-86.7; P = 0.544], 71.0% [90% CI, 63.3-79.7; P = 0.956], 90.3% [90% CI, 80.4-101.4; P = 0.044], and 83.7% [90% CI, 77.9-89.9; P = 0.148] with NVP XR25 400 mg, NVP XR20 400 mg, NVP XR25 300 mg, and NVP XR20 300 mg, respectively). The relative bioavailability of NVP XR25 was greater compared with that of NVP XR20. C(max,ss) values were lower with all NVP XR formulations compared with NVP IR. For C(min,ss), NVP XR25 400 and 300 mg were not significantly different from NVP IR, with 90% CIs within the range of 80% to 125% (P = 0.039 and P = 0.017, respectively). All AEs were mild or moderate, with no significant differences between treatment groups. No virologic failures (viral load, >50 copies/mL over 2 consecutive readings) were observed.
Extent of bioavailability was lower and t(max,ss) was delayed with all NVP XR formulations compared with NVP IR. The bioavailability of the NVP XR25 formulations was greater than that of the NVP XR20 formulations. C(min,ss) with NVP XR25 was similar to that with NVP IR. All of the NVP XR formulations were well tolerated. The 400-mg NVP XR25 formulation was selected for further development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hitherto, studies on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation have shown partly inconsistent results. Our study investigated the clinical course and course of immune status after HAART initiation at CD4-cell-count/μl of treated patients between 250 and 349 (group 1), compared to 350-449 (group 2), on the basis of the cohort of the Competence Network for HIV/AIDS (KompNet cohort).
Patients had to be HAART-naïve. Medication had to start at the earliest in 1996, being at least triple combination therapy. The primary endpoints of death, first AIDS-defining illness and first drop of CD4-cell-count/μl below 200 were evaluated as censored event times between the initiation of HAART (t (0)) and the date of the first event/date of last observation. Probabilities of event-free intervals since t (0) were calculated by Kaplan-Meier estimation, compared by logrank tests. The results were adjusted for confounders using Cox regression. Additionally, incidences were estimated.
A total of 822 patients met the inclusion criteria (group 1: 526, group 2: 296), covering 4,133 patient years (py) overall. In group 1, 0.64 death cases/100 py were found, with the corresponding vale being 0.17 in group 2. In group 1, 1.38 AIDS-defining events/100 py occurred, whereas it was 0.78 in group 2. In group 1, 2.64 events of first drop of CD4-cell-count/μl below 200 occurred per 100 py, compared to 0.77 in group 2. Kaplan-Meier estimations showed borderline significant differences regarding death (p = 0.063), no differences regarding first AIDS-defining illness (p = 0.148) and distinct differences regarding the first drop of CD4-cell-count/μl below 200 (p = 0.0004).
The results gave a strong hint for a therapy initiation at higher CD4-cell-count/μl regarding the outcome of death in treated patients. A distinct benefit was shown regarding the first decline of CD4-cell-count/μl below 200.