Immunological Response of Hiv-Infected Children to Highly Active Antiretoviral Therapy at Gondar University Hospital, North-Western Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in children has not been well studied specially in developing countries where the burden of HIV is high. This study was aimed to assess the immunologic response of HIV-infected children to HAART at Pediatric ART Clinic Gondar University Hospital.
METHODS: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted at the Pediatric ART Clinic Gondar University Hospital from March01-April 30, 2014. The study included 283 HIV-infected children who were on HAART for 6 months and above. Medical records of HIV-infected children were reviewed using pre-tested questionnaire. CD4 count/percent was collected every 6 months retrospectively. For all statistical significance tests, the cut-off value was p<0.05. Poison Regression was used for further analysis.
RESULTS: The mean age of children was 6.9 years with a standard deviation of 3.4 years. The median CD4 count/percent was 232/13%, 450/21%, 540/25% and 608/27% at the time of initiation, 6, 12 and 18 months of ART, respectively. HAART initiated at higher CD4 count, good adherence and HIV status disclosure were found to have positive effects for immunological response.
CONCLUSION: The study revealed that there was good Immunological response to ART, and that the maximum response was in the 1st 6 months of ART. Low CD4 count at initiation, undisclosed HIV status and lack of good adherence were found to cause low immunological response to HAART.
KEYWORDS: HAART, CD4, Immunologic response