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Changes in Immunohaematological Characteristics of Human Immunodeficiency
Highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) has changed the mode of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) care in the developed countries, but its benefits and effects have not been well elucidated in Nigeria. In this case-control study, we have investigated the immediate effects of HAART with stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine on the haematological and immunological parameters of 70 antiretroviral naïve, HIV-positive subjects during the first 8 weeks of therapy. Thirty HIV-positive antiretroviral naïve individuals not yet on HAART were included as controls. At baseline, treated subjects and controls did not differ significantly in their haematological and immunological parameters. After 8 weeks of HAART, the differences in mean haemoglobin (t = 5.77, p<0.05); platelet count (t = 2.25); ESR (t = 3.20, p<0.05) and CD4 count (t = 4.005, p< 0.05), in treated subjects and untreated controls became statistically significant. While treated subjects showed improvement in their haemoglobin, platelet, ESR and CD4 count, untreated controls showed a decline. The prevalence of anaemia, leucopenia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in treated subjects decreased from baseline, while the occurrence of these variables increased among controls. Stevens Johnson's syndrome was the adverse clinical event seen in subjects on HAART (4.3%). These results indicate that HAART with two nuleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (Stavudine and lamivudine) and one non-nucleoside (nevirapine) appear to be a beneficial therapy for HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria as they improve the haematological and immunological parameters and reduce morbidity in HIV infected persons.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, antiretrovirals, immuno-haematologial parameters.
Journal of Medical Laboratory Science Vol. 13 (2) 2004: pp. 51-56