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Introduction: Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been rapidly scaled up in Asia, most HIV-positive patients in the region still present with late-stage HIV disease. We aimed to determine trends of pre-ART CD4 levels over time in Asian HIV-positive patients and to determine factors associated with late ART initiation.Methods: Data from two regional cohort observational databases were analyzed for trends in median CD4 cell counts at ART initiation and the proportion of late ART initiation (CD4 cell counts <200 cells/mm(3) or prior AIDS diagnosis). Predictors for late ART initiation and mortality were determined.Results: A total of 2737 HIV-positive ART-naïve patients from 22 sites in 13 Asian countries and territories were eligible. The overall median (IQR) CD4 cell count at ART initiation was 150 (46-241) cells/mm(3). Median CD4 cell counts at ART initiation increased over time, from a low point of 115 cells/mm(3) in 2008 to a peak of 302 cells/mm(3) after 2011 (p for trend 0.002). The proportion of patients with late ART initiation significantly decreased over time from 79.1% before 2007 to 36.3% after 2011 (p for trend <0.001). Factors associated with late ART initiation were year of ART initiation (e.g. 2010 vs. before 2007; OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.27-0.59; p<0.001), sex (male vs. female; OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.18-1.93; p=0.001) and HIV exposure risk (heterosexual vs. homosexual; OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.24-2.23; p=0.001 and intravenous drug use vs. homosexual; OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.77-5.21; p<0.001). Factors associated with mortality after ART initiation were late ART initiation (HR 2.13, 95% CI 1.19-3.79; p=0.010), sex (male vs. female; HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.31-3.43; p=0.002), age (≥51 vs. ≤30 years; HR 3.91, 95% CI 2.18-7.04; p<0.001) and hepatitis C serostatus (positive vs. negative; HR 2.48, 95% CI 1.-4.36; p=0.035).Conclusions: Median CD4 cell count at ART initiation among Asian patients significantly increases over time but the proportion of patients with late ART initiation is still significant. ART initiation at higher CD4 cell counts remains a challenge. Strategic interventions to increase earlier diagnosis of HIV infection and prompt more rapid linkage to ART must be implemented.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 03/2014; 17(1):18804. DOI:10.7448/IAS.17.1.18804 · 4.21 Impact Factor
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This study examined characteristics of HIV-infected patients in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database who were lost to follow-up (LTFU) from treatment and care. Time from last clinic visit to 31 March 2009 was analysed to determine the interval that best classified LTFU. Patients defined as LTFU were then categorised into permanently LTFU (never returned) and temporary LTFU (re-entered later), and these groups compared. A total of 3626 patients were included (71% male). No clinic visits for 180 days was the best-performing LTFU definition (sensitivity 90.6%, specificity 92.3%). During 7697 person-years of follow-up, 1648 episodes of LFTU were recorded (21.4 per 100-person-years). Patients LFTU were younger (P = 0.002), had HIV viral load ≥500 copies/mL or missing (P = 0.021), had shorter history of HIV infection (P = 0.048), and received no, single- or double-antiretroviral therapy, or a triple-drug regimen containing a protease inhibitor (P < 0.001). 48% of patients LTFU never returned. These patients were more likely to have low or missing haemoglobin (P < 0.001), missing recent HIV viral load (P < 0.001), negative hepatitis C test (P = 0.025), and previous temporary LTFU episodes (P < 0.001). Our analyses suggest that patients not seen at a clinic for 180 days are at high risk of permanent LTFU, and should be aggressively traced.
AIDS research and treatment 01/2012; 2012:375217. DOI:10.1155/2012/375217