Highland Medical Research Journal

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Year impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy on quality of life of HIV-infected Nigerians

Osaro Erhabor, EK Uko, OA Ejele


Objective: The availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has resulted in a number of achievements as well as challenges. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of 48 weeks HAART of stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine on the quality of life of HIVinfected Nigerians.

Materials and Method: Quality of life indices of hemoglobin, platelet count, CD4 lymphocyte count, body weight, body mass index as well as questionnaire based outcome of adverse clinical events, general health perception and emotional effect of pill burden were assessed at baseline and compared with the 48 weeks therapy.

Result: There was a HAART-dependent improvement in the hemoglobin (2.48g/dl), platelet count (55.87 x 109/L), CD4 lymphocyte count (122 cells/μl) body weight (13.26kg) and body mass index (1.32) (p < 0.005). Current positive health perception increased from 53% at baseline to 87.3% after 48 weeks HAART. Body weight correlated with changes in CD4 count (r = 0.4, p < 0.0001). Emotional dimension of HAART related quality of life deteriorated within the 48 weeks of therapy due to long-term HAART-related incidence of overweight and truncal obesity, adverse clinical event of Steven Johnson's syndrome and high pill burden thus producing a negative effect on quality of life.

Conclusion: The study emphasizes the importance of HAART related quality of life survey particularly in resource poor settings in sub-Saharan Africa when there is desperate need for antiretrovirals. Efforts must be made towards simplifying the therapeutic regimen to reduce the number of daily doses and substitution with treatment combinations and strategies that minimize negative adverse effect to ensure that mortality and morbidity are minimize and quality life optimized.

Highland Medical Research Journal Vol. 3(2) 2005: 62-75

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