Characteristics and response to antiretroviral therapy of HIV‐1‐infected patients born in Africa and living in France

Unité Inserm U1077, Caen, Lower Normandy, France
HIV Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.99). 05/2007; 8(3):164-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2007.00447.x
Source: PubMed


The world-wide AIDS epidemic is reflected in Western Europe in an increasing number of HIV-infected persons who originate from Africa. We describe the characteristics and response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) of HIV-infected patients born in Africa and living in France.
Analysis of data from the (Anti PROtéase COhorte APROCO) cohort study of HIV-infected patients initiating ART was carried out. Included in the study were 90 patients born in sub-Saharan Africa, 53 in North Africa and 771 in metropolitan France.
At baseline, there was a higher proportion of women and of the heterosexual transmission route of infection among patients born in sub-Saharan Africa, a higher proportion of injecting drug users among patients born in North Africa and a higher frequency of unemployment and of unstable housing conditions among patients born in both sub-Saharan and North Africa as compared with patients born in France. The median CD4 cell count was lower in patients born in both sub-Saharan and North Africa (sub-Saharan Africa: 197 cells/microL; North Africa: 222 cells/microL) than in patients born in France (307 cells/microL). Median HIV-1 viral loads were similar. After a median follow-up time of 36 months (2506 patient-years), the Kaplan-Meier estimations of probability of survival without new AIDS-defining events were not different. After 36 months of ART, in multivariate analysis, median CD4 cell count, CD4/CD8 ratio and viral load were not statistically different according to birthplace, but the median CD4 percentage was lower in patients born in both sub-Saharan and North Africa. The adherence profiles were similar.
Although clinical response and adherence to ART did not appear to differ in patients according to their birthplace, the reasons for the more advanced HIV infection observed at ART initiation among patients born in Africa should be further investigated.

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    • "Low baseline CD4 cell count and perhaps more aggressive HIV have been reported in Africa.1,2,12,26,28 Although people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa tend to start HAART much later compared to other settings, the effects of time-dependent prognostic factors on ART outcomes are more widely investigated in Europe and North America. "
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    ABSTRACT: CD4 T lymphocytes remain the surrogate measure for monitoring HIV progress in resource-limited settings. The absolute CD4 cell counts form the basis for antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and monitoring among HIV-infected adults. However, the rate of CD4 cell change differs among patients, and the factors responsible are inadequately documented. This study investigated the relationship between HIV severity and ART outcomes among ART-naïve Ugandans, with the primary outcome of complete immunological recovery among patients of different baseline CD4 counts. Patients' records at two HIV/ART sites - the Joint Clinic Research Centre (JCRC) in the Kampala region and Mbarara Hospital in Western Uganda - were reviewed. Records of 426 patients - 68.3% female and 63.2% from JCRC - who initiated ART between 2002 and 2007 were included. HIV severity was based on baseline CD4 cell counts, with low counts considered as severe immunosuppression, while attaining 418 CD4 cells/μL signified complete immunological recovery. Incidence rates of complete immunological recovery were calculated for, and compared between baseline CD4 cell categories: <50 with ≥50, <100 with ≥100, <200 with ≥200, and ≥200 with ≥250 cells/μL. The incidence of complete immunological recovery was 158 during 791.9 person-years of observation, and patients with baseline CD4 ≥ 200 cells/μL reached the end point of immunological recovery 1.89 times faster than the patients with baseline CD4 < 200 cells/μL. CD4 cell change also differed by time, sex, and site, with a faster increase observed during the first year of treatment. CD4 cell increase was faster among females, and among patients from Mbarara. Initiating ART at an advanced HIV stage was the main reason for poor immunological recovery among Ugandans. Earlier ART initiation might lead to better immunological responses.
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