Hearing loss among adolescents on antiretroviral therapy: a need for periodic hearing assessment

  • A.J. Fansula
  • S.A. Ogunkeyede
  • S.O. Afolabi
Keywords: Adolescents, CD4 nadir, HIV, Sensorineural hearing loss, Nigeria


Background: Human immunodeficiency virus-infected adolescents have insufficient CD4 T cell count, and despite attaining viral suppression with HAART regimen, some experience significant hearing loss.

Objective: To determine the association between the hearing thresholds in HIV positive adolescent on highly active antiretroviral therapy and CD4 T cell count.

Method: In this cross-sectional study, 63 adolescents receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy had pure tone audiometry and hearing thresholds determined using standard method. Additional data collected using proforma include biodata type of HAART regimens, treatment duration, the nadir and current CD4-cell count (cells/ml) and viral load (copies/ml) levels. These clinical parameters were correlated with hearing thresholds. Statistical analysis done included univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression using Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS version 20) and level of statistical significance was determined at P < 0.05.

Results: There were 63 participants comprising of 26 (41.3%) males and 37 (58.7%) females, age ranged from 13 – 17 years (mean age 14.7years ± 1.65). Hearing loss was found in 20.6% adolescents and was predominantly sensorineural hearing loss. There was asoociation between hearing threshold, nadir CD4 count and viral load, but not with gender, current CD4 count and viral load, HAART regimen, and treatment duration.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of adolescents with hearing impairment showed that there might be an association with the disease and/its treatment hence the need for inclusion of periodic hearing evaluation in the routine clincal care of HIV-infected adolescent on HAART.

Keywords: Adolescents, CD4 nadir, HIV, Sensorineural hearing loss, Nigeria


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1597-1627